A region-wide electric charging-station corridor and a Gabriola route meant to promote electric vehicular traffic are two ways in which “green” initiatives overlap between the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and the Local Trust Committee (LTC), officials say.
Paul Thorkelsson, RDN general manager of development services, said at a recent LTC/RDN protocol meeting at the Trust office on North Road, that provincial funds are available to establish an electric corridor. He assumed there was support for such an initiative in Gabriola’s Official Community Plan.
Trustee Sheila Malcolmson said there was “really strong support”. She added that an electric vehicle route has been pre-approved for parts of Gabriola.
As previously reported the speed limit for the roads on the western parts of the island from Norwich Hill (Phase four) through the Village core on North Road have been set at 50 kilometre per hour to make way for the use of electric vehicles, which are often speed-restricted.
Malcolmson thought Gabriola is the only island in the Trust area to make this provision. She suggested this information could be included in the RDN’s grant application if it would be helpful.
Thorkelsson also said that besides the charging stations, the RDN is offering a number of green incentives that the LTC staff might want to know about. He said these included rebates for cisterns, use of site-cut lumber, low-flow toilets, new woodstoves, and a ‘sustainable buildings checklist’.
RDN General Manager of Regional and Community Utilities John Finney said the cistern rebate program was “pretty hammered on Gabriola – it was extremely popular. The funds that were allocated for Gabriola were all used up, but we’re holding the applications and some of the electoral areas (EA) have not jumped on the band wagon as much”. He said staff would review the allocations in September, and if other EAs have not used all their budgets staff may reallocate some of the unused funds.
Asked if they can discern between those who are getting bulkwater delivery and those who are harvesting rainwater, Finney said they need to see the piping that links the roof to the cistern, to grant the rebate.
Thorkelsson said the RDN is putting together a manual on the “regulatory side” of rainwater capture. He thought this would be of interest to Gabriolans.
Islands Trust Regional Area Manager Chris Jackson said the Trust could add the information about RDN green initiatives to their website. He suggested that the RDN send their news releases about such initiatives to Islands Trust Communications Specialist Laura Stringer.
In other green energy news, Malcolmson also noted at the June LTC meeting at WI Hall, that zero emission vehicles are available in Parkesville, and the operators are very willing to come to Gabriola to promote the cars. She suggested this might be something the LTC might want to refer to their Transportation Advisory Committee to consider.
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