Ms. Jacqueline Leitch-Murphy wrote to the editor of the Ladysmith Chronicle in the October 11th edition regarding what the town is doing about building green and welcomed a response.
As a councillor, we endeavor to put on our ‘Green Hat’ at every possible opportunity. We want to encourage ‘green’ building whenever possible and to that end, we have mandated that new builds require the home to be wired and be solar hot water ready.
We do have a solar panel on the roof of city hall. In upgrading our water system, we are putting technology onto that water line that will create hydro power and be put back on the grid. It will take seven years to create cost pay back, but the town was able to find grant funds to pay for this technology. We have just passed a bylaw to bring in reduced development cost charges in the downtown area for environmentally friendly builds.
We are discussing how we can effectively, efficiently as well as be cost prudent in heating what we call institutional row, that being RCMP, public works, firehall – right down to the recreation centre. That takes time and money. Our city staff are amazing at finding grant funds.
Without these, our personal property taxes would go ‘through the roof’. We are hired (voted) by the people of our community to be stewards of not only their property, but their tax dollars. Currently, we have development permits coming before council and then on to the Advisory Design Panel. Affordable housing, green build as well as permeable softscapes/native plants are looked at to name a few.
We are encouraging these new and innovative technologies. Are we going far enough, fast enough? Well, that is where it hits the community in the pocket books. Green will cost more. Taxes and the cost to build will be higher. We, as your elected officials, must be prudent – look at all avenues.
We may be slow, but we are surely going in the right direction. We encourage people to come to town council meetings and to hear what we are doing. We have open dialogue with the community between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month.
We pay taxes, just like everybody else. We want Ladysmith to be the very best place to live. We want our grandchildren to look back with pride at what legacies we have left behind. We encourage open dialogue.