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Regional District Infrastructure

 

Regional districts are local governments that provide specific services to rural communities that are not incorporated municipalities and region-wide services to various municipalities and rural areas (Local Government Act, s.796, 796.1, 796.2, 800, and s.800.1). Subject to specific limitations under provincial legislation, a regional district may operate any service that the regional district board considers necessary or desirable for all or part of the regional district.
 

A regional district may operate a service directly or through another public authority or organization; most regional district services must be established through a service area bylaw. While most services are delivered within the boundaries of the regional district, the regional district board may deliver services outside its boundaries with the consent of the local government where it proposes to provide the services.
 

Regional district infrastructure is required for many of these services such as providing drinking water, sewage collection and treatment, fire protection, cultural/recreational facilities, transit service, garbage collection and recycling. Most infrastructure related services are considered non-regulatory and by separate bylaw, the regional district board may regulate these services (including establishing a system licences, permits or approvals). Essential infrastructure includes:

  • Water systems, water treatment plants and works, reservoirs, impoundments (dams), wells and pumping stations for the collection, treatment, storage and distribution of potable water;
  • Sanitary and storm sewers as well as pump stations for the collection, treatment and disposal of waste-water;
  • Water or waste-water metering equipment;
  • Buildings and facilities owned by local governments;
  • Cultural and recreational facilities, such as museums, heritage sites, galleries, performing arts facilities, cultural/community centres, recreational and sports facilities and libraries;
  • Basic local government infrastructure to support or provide access to tourist facilities, major public attractions, convention or trade centres and exhibition buildings;
  • Local transportation infrastructure, such as that related to specific regional transportation services (transit);
  • Waste disposal such as landfills and recycling facilities;
  • Other infrastructure including that relevant to affordable housing, fire protection, street lighting, internet access for local public institutions, etc.

It is vital to the sustainability of communities that regional district governments provide this infrastructure such that related services can be enjoyed. Sustainable infrastructure is that which does not compromise future generations and is accomplished by addressing environmental, economic, and social dimensions in current infrastructure provision. The provincial government through the Local Government Infrastructure and Finance Division provides support and statutory approvals to local governments and improvement districts in the administrative, financial and engineering spheres.
 

 

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