Recycling programs, green spaces, energy efficient lights and park lands are a few initiatives that brought $200,000 back to the region last week as part of the province’s Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP).
The conditional grants require local governments to report annual progress in projects that set the stage for reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – a CARIP grant is equivalent to the full amount of direct carbon tax each municipality (or regional district) pays in a year.
The funding targets communities that have signed a Climate Action Charter and publicly report their ongoing development toward meeting climate action goals.
Constructing a walking versus driving bridge, taking part in growing food for incREDIBLE trail, and recycling building components prior to demo are actions that had the City of Trail receiving about $30,000 from the program.
Past initiatives include a thermal energy audit of the Trail Memorial Centre, an anti-idling policy, planting trees, the use of recycled asphalt and installing energy saving LEDs into street lighting.
The grant doesn’t cover actual costs related to the city’s climate action goals but it does ensure Trail remains focused and understands the associated implications of its operations by reviewing outputs each year as compared to the 2020 target.
“The city initially became involved as part of securing the annual grant funding and to ensure that necessary direction was being taken to become compliant with the goals being established by the province,” said David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer (CAO).
“While the city will never be carbon neutral based on its operations we will continue to work to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the spirit of the charter and what it is attempting to achieve.”
Rossland was given the nod with an $12,800 CARIP grant, as the city, like Trail, aims to reduce GHG levels 33 per cent by the year 2020
Ongoing actions include an LED pilot project, a design charrette for Washington Street that includes a bicycle lane, and Phase 1 wetland restoration at Centennial Park.
It may seem like only a drop in the bucket, but Montrose’s $2,000 annual grant assists the village to complete activities and goals as part of an ongoing GHG reduction action plan.
Fixing leaking windows in the municipal office, and improvements in water metering were 2015 actions alongside the ongoing development of an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan.
Fruitvale adopted a Carbon Neutral Action Plan five years ago, signing on as a participant of the Carbon Neutral Kootenays Project spearheaded by the three regional districts in the Kootenays.
Additionally, the village has policies and objectives regarding Climate Action in its Official Community Plan which includes regional collaboration to include electric vehicle stations and LED street lighting improvements.
Fruitvale’s $3,000 grant furthers the development of a reduction of solid waste pickups through green waste/composting and supporting re-use with Trash to Treasure days.
West Kootenay CARIP grants also went to Castlegar, $17,200 Nelson, $36,250, and the regional districts (combined) about $83,000.