Village gets $56,000 to create sustainable plan

Armed with a cool $56,000, Montrose is ready to walk into a greener future.

Long-term thinking, broad in scope, integration and collaboration are all the buzz words of a province-wide initiative that focuses on climate change and strategies to create healthier communities.

Armed with a cool $56,000, a local township is ready to walk into a greener future.

Montrose announced Wednesday that Columbia Basin Trust granted $25,000 and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities $31,000, for the village to develop a framework for Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP).

For almost 10 years the ICSP program has been gathering momentum by asking B.C. towns and cities to take a fresh look at their environmental footprint and how it affects the world around them.

Through the program’s integrated and guided process that includes engaging community members, words are put into action in ways that lead to cleaner and more sustainable lifestyles.

Developing a long-range community plan that incorporates the principles of sustainable living is a current priority for Kevin Chartres under the direction of Montrose council.

Earlier this year, the Montrose chief administrative officer (CAO) applied for grant money so the village could move ahead and develop a long term vision and comprehensive sustainable plan that identifies and acts on matters like land use, energy, waste and water management, and transportation services.

“The ICSP will be the lens for all our decision and for how we do business in the future,” said Chartres. “Along with council and staff we are encouraging our resident and community partners to get engaged in the ICSP development.”

For the 1,000 people living in Montrose, that means more opportunities to partake in the village’s decision-making process through surveys, workshops and future town hall meetings.

The first chance for public input will be a 15-minute online survey in August, followed by a community event in September, said Chartres, adding that residents are encouraged to check the village’s website for ICSP updates.

With help from a well-established planning team from the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, Montrose’s long-range objectives will be developed by the village with the assistance from an advisory committee of citizens and stakeholders and the community, he added.

“Planning for the future of Montrose is planning for success, resiliency and sustainability,” said Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk. “It will also allow us to enjoy short-term benefits such as getting our residents and neighbouring communities engaged and excited about the future.”

Another local community knee deep in a “Visions to Action” plan is Rossland.

Since 2007, the city has been forging ahead with a long-term sustainability strategy that encompasses economic development, water stewardship, housing and its affordability and energy initiatives.

Rossland’s Strategic Sustainability Plan was developed five years ago, after the city, community groups, and volunteer task forces collaborated with citizens to develop a Community Vision for 2030.

Funding for the ICSP initiative began with the 2005 Federal Gas Tax Agreement and continues partially from biannual flow through money to provinces and territories from federal gas tax revenues.

Additional funding opportunities for the program have expanded to include community and stakeholder partnerships with the common goal to support the growth of community sustainability planning throughout the province.