There’s good news and more good news for the Village of Montrose.
A better crosswalk is coming at no cost to the taxpayer, which frees up funds for better lighting on the highway corridor.
Council initially budgeted $10,000 for the crosswalk improvement capital project at 10th Avenue and 5th Street. With the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) now committed to funding 100 per cent of the work, Montrose officials agreed to re-direct the money into energy efficient lights along Highway 3B.
“The timing for this is now,” Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk said during Monday night council. “Westcana is there doing the MOTIs and we will piggy-back onto that. It’s just going to make our whole corridor lighting safer for walkers crossing the highway.”
A total of 25 lights line the Highway 3B corridor, eight are owned by the ministry, the rest are the property of Montrose.
Once the 17 LED streetlights are up and running, the village will be eligible for $80 per light, or $1,360 in rebates from FortisBC.
“The installation of lower powered LED streetlights (108 watts/light) compared to the current streetlights that are 150 watts, will result in the village better meeting its obligations under the CARIP (Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program),” clarified Chief Administrative Officer Larry Plotnikoff. “And may lead to further eligibility for rebates from the province.”
Less power consumption and a longer lasting life cycle also plays into the Montrose SCEEP objectives.
Otherwise known as a Strategic Community Energy and Emissions Plan, a SCEEP is a living document that identifies viable ways each community can conserve energy while reducing emissions of gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.
Patricia Dehnel from the Community Energy Association (CEA) opened the meeting with a review of the Montrose plan, noting that green initiatives such as LEDs and the community garden will help keep the village on point to reduce GHG emissions.
Montrose developed its SCEEP last year in a workshop facilitated by the CEA, with funding from FortisBC PowerSense and Columbia Basin Trust.
Village officials and staff gathered with Interior Health, the Lower Columbia Initiative Corporation, the regional district and the Village of Fruitvale over two days in November, to build an action plan after looking at energy, emissions, and energy expenditures for the community as a whole.
“Montrose wants to be a player, like everyone else, to reduce energy and emissions that can move us closer to our target which is carbon neutral,” says Danchuk. “This really helps us, by guiding us, toward those goals.