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Climate Action Plan could impact Lake of Bays Budget

Climate Action Plan could impact Lake of Bays Budget

Posted: 2023-03-03 07:26:10 By: thebay

Lake of Bays Council was advised that additional spending may be required for their role in the Climate Action Plan (CAP), in the February 28, 2023, Planning meeting.

Planning Technician, Arla Freitas Nissenthall, advised Council that although there may not be any direct impacts to the 2023 budget associated with the report recap in the meeting, “administrative resources will be needed to implement the program.” She added, “Additional staffing is likely required.”

Nissenthall indicated that the Township will be responsible for implementing work in the areas of development and infrastructure, community outreach, adaptation programs, emergency response resources and policy change.

“There may be significant financial impacts on the municipality depending on costs with each initiative,” added Nissenthall.

According to the Climate Change Adaptation Plan report, smaller and rural communities face unique challenges. The contribution “challenges financial constraints given the smaller property tax bases and spread-out infrastructure.”

The report indicates that other challenges include “limited staffing to implement and deliver initiatives.” This makes public engagement and participation a key component to the success of the Plan.

Financial constraints of climate change include impacts from areas such as roads, water, systems to manage wastewater and storm water, and erosion of natural infrastructure.

Lake of Bays has declared a climate emergency to align with the District and other municipalities to contribute to protecting the community and ecosystem from the impacts of climate change.

Some of the immediate actions the Township is taking is implementing retrofit programs in its buildings, including energy efficiency and conservation, through the use of LED lighting, efficient HVAC units, upgraded furnaces and air conditioning, timers in hot water heaters in the four Seniors Centres and firehalls, and programable thermostats.

The Township has also added a hybrid vehicle to its fleet, installed electric vehicle charging stations in Baysville, updated policies and By-laws to include protection of vegetation and wetlands, and a financial incentive and grants in support of the Community Improvement Plan.

According to the report, “Staff anticipate there may be some consulting support required, in addition to support from the District to develop the Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Plan, once approved, will lay out the estimated financial impact of implementing the Plan’s recommendations.”

Councillor, Mike Peppard, acknowledged the impact the Plan will have to the Township. He said, “It’s a huge task. It’s massive. It’s great. A shout out to the District and getting ICLEI funding and making sure we can get our own report.”