Community Planning

2nd Annual First Nations Housing & Infrastructure West – April 23 -25

The Canadian Institutes 2nd Annual First Nations Housing & Infrastructure West forum is being held in Vancouver, B.C. April 23rd to 25th. Indigenous business groups, engineering companies, government and other key infrastructure stakeholders offering insights on how to succeed in today’s environment will be attending the forum. Urban Systems will be nicely represented at the event as three of our consultants are leading 2 different sessions at the forum. Tracey Rockwell, Jody Rechenmacher are Engineers who work out of our Vancouver office in Yaletown and Wade Turner is a Community Consultant who works our of our Kamloops office. Tracy and Wade will be both part of the same workshop titled;

Bridging the Gap Between Renting and Buying: Top Priorities and Responsibilities in Home Ownership

When: Monday April 23th, 1 PM – 4 PM
Where: Holiday Inn and Suites, Vancouver, B.C.
Workshop Facilitators:
Tracy Rockwell, P.Eng., Senior Engineer
Wade Turner, GISP, Community Consultant
Dan Rodgers, Housing Tenancy Coordinator, Neskonlith Indian Band
Dennis Sterritt, Housing Manager, Gitksan Government Commission

Workshop themes:

  • Adopt the mindset, education and understanding of your obligations in owning a home
  • Master the basics – the location of the water shut-off valve, smoke detector functionality, hot water tank flushing, and much more
  • Learn about the household items the band council will and will not provide for members
  • Understand how to manage household costs according to your average on-reserve threshold income

Facilitator Bios

Tracy Rockwell – Project Engineer
Tracy is a senior engineer and project manager with over 20 years of experience. Tracy is highly experienced and dedicated to working with people on their housing initiatives and projects to improve on-reserve housing. Tracy and her team, understand the importance of working collaboratively with the community, to define areas of concern, create plans and obtain information to address the concerns and implement the plans. Tracy has been instrumental in tailoring housing maintenance and management plans for on-reserve communities and providing them with the information, tools and training to effectively maintain housing capital assets, reduce risk of safety and environmental hazards, implement professional house inspections and renovation strategies, track housing maintenance, provide accountability protocols for existing and future housing staff, develop and maintain maintenance records and histories, provide rationalization to establish annual housing maintenance budgets and extend the life of capital assets. Tracy has expertise in creating tools and selecting software programs to assist a community with their asset management. Tracy has worked with on-reserve communities through the construction project process from producing building specifications under Part 9 of the Building Code to contract management and construction.

Wade Turner – Community Consultant
Wade has worked extensively in both BC and Alberta over the past 23 years. He is the client and project leader as well as the technical advisor for First Nation asset management projects including community housing, information systems and infrastructure. Wade works directly with a number of First Nation communities and organizations in BC with a specific focus from Prince George to Haida Gwaii. His work includes working with communities to help address both housing and infrastructure challenges including understanding and helping source funding to address the community needs.

Wade brings exceptional knowledge of asset management programs and Geographic Information System tools and techniques used to support decision-making for our community planning, engineering and environmental practices. Wade’s experience will ensure we are able to efficiently engage with each community’s staff, housing inspectors, First Nation Health Authority, Indigenous Services Canada and the Band’s software providers to gather and collect, prioritize and report on the state of each community’s housing portfolio and make the best use of available funds.

On April 25th, Jody Rechenmacher will sit on a panel of 3, their session is titled;

Collaborating with Municipalities to Facilitate First Nation Services and Infrastructure Development

When: Wednesday April 25th, 9 AM – 10 AM
Where: Holiday Inn and Suites, Vancouver, B.C.
John Becker, Mayor, City of Pitt Meadows
Susan Miller, Former Chief, Katzie First Nation
Jody Rechenmacher, P.Eng, Community Consultant

Panel Discussion:

  • Identifying municipal partners to ease a First Nation’s funding obstacles
  • From single-service agreements to comprehensive agreements – Water and wastewater, solid waste, fire protection, transit and recreation
  • How to properly structure an agreement, including cost-sharing and the division of responsibilities
  • Navigating hurdles obstacles, managing conflict, and overcoming relationship challenges
  • Securing supportive leadership and understanding agreement expectations

Jody Rechenmacher Bio

Jody Rechenmacher, Community Infrastructure Consultant
Jody works with First Nations and municipalities to lead and facilitate the development of integrated and service focused strategy, planning, and management programs that span all types of community infrastructure. Her expertise is in navigating complex problems that require both a technical and a social lens, using processes for co-developing effective and practical solutions. She has recently applied this expertise by supporting the development of joint service delivery agreements that are strong and fair for all parties. Over the past five years, Jody has worked with Indigenous Services Canada to lead the development of resources to support First Nations and local governments develop service agreements, based on a BC-wide review of successful practices and common challenges. These tools and resources can be found at Jody is a Professional Engineer and a certified Envision Sustainability Professional. Jody is also a director on the board of Urban Matters CCC.

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