Village of Fraser Lake leverages grant funding to make progress on B.C. Climate Action Charter commitments
The Village of Fraser Lake, along with dozens of other local governments in Northern B.C., is a signatory of British Columbia’s Climate Action Charter. As a participant, they are committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their dependency on carbon-based energy.
Since 2016, the Village of Fraser Lake has successfully applied to Northern Development for five unique projects that help achieve their goals of reducing GHG emissions. To date, the Trust has invested more than $90,000 through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program for ice plant upgrades, trail improvements and a number of lighting upgrades at public facilities in Fraser Lake.
“As a local government for a small town, we’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Sarrah Storey, mayor of the Village of Fraser Lake. “Demonstrating our environmental awareness is an important practice as it inspires our residents and organizations to consider how they can reduce their impact on the environment.”
These investments demonstrate the Village of Fraser Lake’s commitment to managing their facilities in a sustainable, conscientious and efficient manner. By reducing their reliance on carbon-based energy and increasing equipment efficiency, the Village of Fraser Lake maintains reasonable user fees at the Fraser Lake Recreation Complex. This benefits the community by providing an affordable, inside space for use throughout the year. Low user fees also attract sports tournaments to the area, which provides economic benefits to many businesses in the community. Updating lighting to LED has increased the brightness inside the arena; making the spectator experience more enjoyable.
Upgrading their arena lighting to LED in 2016 was the first GHG emission reduction project in Fraser Lake that Northern Development supported. By replacing the existing metal halide lighting with LED, the Village of Fraser Lake was able to reduce energy consumption in the arena by 8.54 per cent; reducing operational costs each year. To further their efforts to reduce energy consumption at the arena, the Village is experimenting with different lighting combinations during rental periods. During practice periods, only half of the lights are turned on over the ice surface. This provides ample visibility where needed, while unused areas are not lit. During games, all the lights are used, to provide an exceptional user experience for both athletes and spectators.
“An added benefit to energy conservation is that it reduces our operational costs. These are savings we pass on to residents,” continued Mayor Storey. “With our small tax base, we rely on grants from organizations like Northern Development, Nechako-Kitimaat Development Society and the Province of B.C. to make these projects a reality and to increase the quality of life for those who make Fraser Lake their home now and in the future.”
Northern Development is pleased to support the Village of Fraser Lake and other communities as they seek to reduce their carbon footprint. According to the Climate Action Revenue Incentive (CARIP) Public Report for 2018, five local governments within the Trust’s service region are already carbon neutral, including Fort St. James, Granisle, Logan Lake, Peace River Regional District and Kitimat-Stikine Regional District. Another 16 local governments have accelerated their progress on commitments to B.C.’s Climate Action Charter.
Funding for these upgrades to the Village of Fraser Lake’s recreation facilities comes from Northern Development’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. This grant program supports the sustainability and expansion of local infrastructure to host events which increase tourism revenues and community quality of life for residents. Up to $30,000 to a maximum of 70 per cent of the eligible project budget is available as a grant.