It’s not easy being green

City takes steps to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

When Kimberley signed on to the Climate Action Charter several years ago, it was with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2012. Most, if not all, BC communities have now realized that becoming carbon neutral is unlikely.

“I don’t think we’ll ever get to complete neutrality, but we are making progress” said City Councillor Don McCormick.

In 2012, Kimberley’s corporate emissions  were 1508 tonnes. Rather than purchase offsets, Council opted to put the money in a reserve fund until a green project that benefits Kimberley directly can be identified.

Reducing a City’s carbon footprint can be accomplished in all kinds of ways, from big projects like the Sun Mine to small ones like the incentive program for low flow toilets. Trees can be planted, trails developed to encourage less use of automobiles, parks can be developed.

The actions the City of Kimberley is taking were recently outlined in a report to Council by Planning Officer Kris Belanger.

Council received the report last week.

One of the measures the province is looking for is specific targets in a community’s Official Community Plan. Kimberley will be undertaking a comprehensive OCP review this year which will include strategies to reduce greenhouse gases.

In the meantime, the City is working on many different measures to reduce GHG. They include:

• Continued support of the annual Green Building Conference and Trade Show.

• Work on the Sun Mine will continue.

• a Transit review has resulted in more weekly shuttles to Cranbrook.

• Various water smart initiatives including the low flow toilet rebate.

• The local building bylaw will be amended to include solar hot water ready requirements for new residential construction.

• Further development of Kimberley’s trails and the addition of bike lanes on roads is planned.

• There are plans to implement a pilot domestic water metering project.

•  The City will adopt a corporate climate action plan this year and establish a climate action reserve fund bylaw.

• An energy audit of City Hall will be conducted.

• Last year, a hot water on demand system for filling the Zamboni at the  Marysville Arena was installed and this year, a new, efficient ice plant will be put it.

• The City is also continuing with replacing T12 lights with more efficient T8 lights at all municipal facilities.

• An air to air heat exchanger and dehumidification system was put in at the Aquatic Centre.

• Municipal drivers have been trained in fuel efficient driver, and the City is committed to replacing all fleet vehicles with ‘right-size’ vehicles.

• A leak detection program on the water mains will begin and water meters will be installed on all water mains.

• The City will continue to plant trees and also continue the second phase of Mark Creek naturalization, with planting of native species.