Falher seeks grants for arena solar project

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A proposal to install solar energy at the Falher Regional Recreation Complex continues to move forward.
At its regular meeting Sept. 22, Falher town council approved a recommendation to proceed apply for grants to install ground-mount solar retrofit project at the recreational facility.
“We would go forward only if we get matching grants,” Mayor Donna Buchinski says.
Cost of the project is estimated at just over $900,000, CAO James Bell adds.
“There are multiple grants being applied for in the ultimate hopes of achieving 100 per cent grant funding for the project,” Bell says.
Each grant program has varying portions of municipal contribution.
“However, we are hoping that separate grants will be able to qualify as the contributing portions of each other grant, resulting in zero dollars being committed by council.”
Municipal energy manager Emily Plihal updated council on the application process at the meeting.
Bell says the project would move forward only if the Town would receive a certain level of grant funding, although that has not been determined yet.

Town may aid Centre Chevaliers

Council will consider some short-term funding support for the cash-strapped Centre Chevaliers.
Board chair Darren Cote spoke with council as a delegation for the organization that operates the facility. The centre has been closed much of the time with COVID-19 restrictions since March 2020.
“We’re very short on funds to operate, mainly in the short term,” Cote says.
“We are struggling with our week-to-week operations.”
Mayor Donna Buchinski says council could help in some way to help the organization during a difficult time.
“It’s up to them to get a proposal to us to see what we might do,” Buchinski says.
Cote stressed the boiler needs to be replaced before winter to keep the building adequately heated.
“With some things opening up with COVID, we’re restricted on our bingo, which was cancelled for some time.”
Council directed CAO James Bell to discuss the issues with the organization leadership.
Councillor Robert Lauze offered one suggestion.
“A short-term loan might be an option,” Lauze says.
Councillor Daniel Morin added his support to help the organization in the short term.

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