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Homeowner energy savings, hydro rate review, 30 city-owned buildings, and more: Nelson City Council July 21, 2014

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
July 22nd, 2014

Once each month the city council meeting is a Committee of the Whole, which means that members of the public, community groups, and the city’s own department staff may present to council. No decisions are made at these meetings but if council wants to make a decision on something that is presented, it will be brought back to a regular council meeting.

The following is a summary of the proceedings of the July 21, 2014, Committee of the Whole meeting.

The city owns thirty buildings

The city’s Facilities Maintenance Manager, Peter Sinstadt, presented a report on his work since he started in his new position less than a year ago.

He told council that the City of Nelson is responsible for a complex portfolio of buildings as well as groups of buildings that he referred to as campuses, serving various functions:

  • Seven core services facilities/campus (e.g. Fire Hall)  
  • Seven community services facilities/campus (e.g. Senior’s Centre)  
  • Seven miscellaneous Facilities (e.g. BC Gas Works)  
  • Nine secondary services facilities/campus (e.g. Parks, Campground etc.)
  • 30 total (Approx. 90 unique spaces or structures)

He went on to say how he has spent the past year cataloging their area, value, leasing arrangements and rates, vacancy rates, maintenance needs, and utility costs along with recommendations for the future in all of those areas, all detailed in his report which is attached below.

“Seeing the Light on Baker”

Blogger Claus Schunke, a regular commenter at committee of the whole meetings, offered council his critique of its recent lengthy discussions and deliberations about Christmas lights on Baker. His commentary is attached below.  

The Ecosave Program wraps successfully 

Carmen Proctor, the coordinator of the city’s Ecosave energy retrofit program told council that the program registered 430 homeowners over the program and that 107 of those did a post assessment with the retrofit was done although she said many more achieved some energy savings without doing a post assessment. She said the energy savings by homeowners through the program was the equivalent of taking 1,430 cars off of the road.

She said the program has received local and national recognition and that other municipalities have modeled their programs on Nelson’s. She told council that job creation in the renovation industry and the trades in Nelson has been significant as a result of the program.

The next round of the program will include multi-unit buildings, schools and school programs, and a community solar garden.

Carmen Proctor’s report to council is attached.

Related stories in The Nelson Daily:

Homeowners flock to Ecosave program (August, 2012)

Energy expert says Nelson’s Ecosave program doesn’t go far enough (August, 2012)

Nelson Hydro will review its rates

Alex Love of Nelson Hydro told council that it will be undergoing a rate rebalancing in the near future to make sure rates are properly distributed and that the rationale for various rates is sound.

A Cost of Service Analysis (COSA) is being conducted by Nelson Hydro and reviewed by a consultant expert. In September the public will be asked to comment on it. The new rates will be come effective in April, after going through the council’s annual budget process.

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