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Bruce II’s green plan needs more funds

The Bruce II Sports Centre in Port aux Basques. – © file photo


PORT AUX BASQUES – In early August it was announced that the town of Port aux Basques would receive funding for both the Bruce II Sports Complex and the Ralph Bennett Memorial Fire Hall to install greener technologies. These upgrades will reduce the environmental impact of both buildings while at the same time reducing operating costs.

The funding for these green projects came jointly from all three levels of government.

For the Bruce II, the Federal government pledged $490,000, the Provincial government contributed $408,292, and the local Municipal government will pitch in $326,707. For the Fire Hall, breakdown is $58,631 Federal, $48,854 Provincial, and $39,092 from the Town.

These funds total $1,371,576 but during the Aug. 24 meeting of council, Town Manager Leon MacIsaac explained that it’s insufficient to complete all the goals outlined for the Bruce II Sports Complex.

“The Town received approval through the Federal government’s Climate Change Challenge Fund (CCCF) to make improvements for fuel switching and energy efficiency at the Bruce II Complex. Fundamental Inc., which is the lead consultant and is partnered with other firms, was tasked with reviewing the existing building and determining what measures could be completed under the existing funding,” said MacIsaac.

The assessments are still ongoing on how to most effectively use these funds but priority will be given to the fuel switching aspect of the project, which will move the facility away from relying on polluting fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources.

“The consultants are currently reviewing the building structure, heating and cooling system, power plant, etc., to make a determination on how best to address each area. The CCCF initiative, which is one of several federal funding sources available, is intended to address energy efficiency and fuel switching as the main criteria; any items that can be accomplished outside that scope will be a bonus to the project,” said MacIsaac.

What seems to be a complicating factor in completing the project scope within the funds provided is the age of the Bruce II building, which has led to increased costs.

“The project has to be evaluated on what the building needs to have completed in the immediate future and what can be delayed until further funding becomes available. The project will proceed with the existing funding to address the main project criteria. The building is approximately 25 years old and requires a number of upgrades such as heating, ventilation, lighting, insulation, exterior cladding, windows, doors, roof, etc.,” stated MacIsaac.

The Town will be pursuing other sources of funding to help cover the expenses needed to reinvigorate the Bruce II Sports Complex, confirmed MacIsaac.

“The Town has applications submitted under other federal funding programs, and hopefully, our other applications will be as successful as the CCCF initiative.”

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