City to Apply for Funding for Facility Solar Panels –

A special city council meeting was held on Thursday to discuss administration applying for federal funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). 

The deadline for the city to apply was Oct. 30. City manager Jim Puffalt told council they were given a small timeframe to apply and there were a number of criteria that needed to be met in order for the project to qualify. 

The funding would go towards upgrading the Yara Centre, Mosaic Place, Kinsmen Sportsplex, City Complex, and City Hall with solar panels. 

‚ÄúWhen considering the locations, we had to look at the conditions of the roofs,‚ÄĚ said director of parks and recreation Derek Blais.¬†¬†

‚ÄúWe didn’t want to put solar panels, because it had to be affixed to the building, on a roof that would need to be replaced in the next 10 years.¬†So¬†all facilities that we’ve identified to have roof structures that have been recently updated or¬†are fairly new.‚Ä̬†

Four of the five buildings would receive 100 kilowatts of solar energy or about 250 solar panels, while city hall’s roof would only have room for 26 kilowatts. 

City administration is estimating the investment would pay for itself on all five facilities in 4.7 years. 

‚ÄúAnything that can help us alleviate some of the costs here for utilities you know, thinking of Mosaic Place, the amount of money that is spent up there in just power bills is pretty crazy,‚ÄĚ said Coun. Crystal Froese.¬†

The project was originally applied for under the ICIP Transit Funds and the city had budgeted $138,725 of city funding. The Transit Funds, however, did not become available. 

Administration recently learned that the solar program would be eligible under that ICIP COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream.  

In total, the cost of the project would be about $1.04 million. If successful, $830,000 would be covered under ICIP and $207,560 would need to be covered by the city. With $138,725 already budgeted, $68,835 would need to come from the 2021 capital budget. 

To be eligible, the projects would need to start no later than Sept. 30, 2021, and must be completed by the end of 2021. 

The motion to apply for the funding was passed 5-1 with Coun. Brian Swanson opposed and Coun. Chris Warren was absent. 


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