Four EV charging stations could be installed near the Sid Williams Theatre. Dreamstime photo

EV charging stations proposed near Courtenay theatre

At its March 18 meeting, Courtenay council endorsed an application for a CleanBC grant to fund four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The proposed site for installation is near the Sid Williams Theatre.

After surveying City-owned lands, the Community Energy Association of BC (CEA) said the site adjacent to the north wall of the Sid would be an “awesome” location for multiple installations.

Pending grant approval, the City’s portion of the cost would be $25,000.

The contribution would be part of a Mid-Island EV Network application for a government grant to install multiple charging stations. Nanaimo Regional District has been the lead applicant for the grant. The application deadline is March 27.

Coun. Will Cole-Hamilton had suggested taking advantage of the funding opportunity, and joining with neighboring mid-island jurisdictions, after he attended a climate change session at a gathering of Vancouver Island elected officials.

“I suggested that we work together to create a regional mid-Island network covering highways 19 and 4,” he said. “I saw this as a way to boost tourism, increase the adoption of EVs and make EV use a more practical option by eliminating concerns about range.”

The regional district is also interested in applying for funding for eight chargers: two each at the Seal Bay parking lot, the Exhibition Grounds, the Aquatic Centre and at the Sports Centre.

CleanBC grant opportunities for Level 2 EV chargers cover 73.3 per cent of capital costs.

Nine municipalities, including Courtenay and Comox, and three regional districts, including the CVRD, are part of the grant application.

•The property committee of St. George’s United Church is requesting $25,000 to renovate the kitchen and two washrooms at the building at Sixth and Fitzgerald. The Sunshine Lunch Club, consisting of volunteers from five churches, have been serving hot meals five days a week out of the St. George’s kitchen for 23 years. Upwards of 100 homeless and marginalized people show up each day. The kitchen no longer meets all Health and Safety Authority requirements, and the washrooms are not wheelchair-accessible. Renos are expected to cost $124,500. The church has raised $82,800. A $20,000 grant from the Rick Hansen Foundation is pending. The committee acknowledges it missed the City’s grant-in-aid application deadline.

Along with providing meals, the venue facilitates weekly visits from the Care-A-Van, and opportunities for other groups to provide free haircuts, warm clothing and personal hygiene products.

Council asked staff to investigate options and implications to provide $25,000 to St. George’s, and to suggest, via letter, the church seek funding from other local governments in the Valley.

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