By Mike Gregory
Ladysmith is making efficiencies to how low flush toilet rebates will be issued to property owners in the future.
At its recent meeting on Monday, town council approved applying the reimbursement to utility accounts, eliminating the need to issue a cheque for the rebate amount.
Councillor Steve Arnett called the ongoing program a “great efficiency measure” by the town.
“I just think it is a great way to make our commitment to water sustainability and it’s a great incentive,” he said of the rebate which was approved by council in 2008.
Since that time 1,430 low-flush toilet rebates have been issued, including 77 as of September of this year.
The town has allocated $10,000 in 2016 from the Water Utility Fund for the program.
Over $5,500 in rebates have been distributed to homeowners so far this year.
Echoing Arnett’s comments, Mayor Aaron Stone remarked how advantageous the $75 refund was for residents “especially since you can get a low cost toilet for the price of a rebate these days.”
Ladysmith has set a lifetime maximum of two rebates per residence.
The town’s current financial plan has allocated $10,000 annually until 2019 and any surplus is carried over to future years.
An option presented by town staff this week to expand the program to include high-efficiency washing machines and dishwashers was not discussed.
However, Stone said air quality is a “pressing issue” in the Cowichan Valley and Ladysmith should consider successful environment programs being implemented elsewhere.
“It’s something we should start to look as other areas we can make a low-cost impact that makes a good quality impact to the environment,” he said.