The Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) has come bearing two-fold gifts to the Town of Gibsons.
The ICET board announced Monday, June 22, that it’s granting $244,080 to the Town of Gibsons’ geo-exchange project. The grant represents about 25 per cent of the total $975,320 cost of the project.
The Town was awarded $325,000 for the project in April from Inno-vative Clean Energy Awards.
The geo-exchange project will see pipes buried under new housing developments in Upper Gibsons to store the natural geothermal energy of the earth and pump it through homes to heat them.
Gibsons Mayor Barry Janyk said he is thrilled by the geo-exchange grant and what it will mean for the Town.
“The long term objective is to form a municipal utility that will basically provide heat to new residences in the Town and will be a money maker for the Town and a money saver for the new residences,” Janyk said.
This will be the first publicly owned geo-exchange system in Canada. “It’s kind of the way of the future for progressive communities, and the Town is leading the way on this one,” Janyk said.
The rest of the cost of the project is in the Town’s five-year financial plan, but Town staff are looking into more grant funding. There are also plans for a second project that captures heat from the ocean, still in the grant application phase.
The second ICET was $3,000 for the Coast Cultural Alliance for continued production of the Purple Banner studio tour guide.
“We are very excited and happy about it and really appreciate them seeing the value in the arts and culture and the purple banner guide we’ve been putting out,” said Linda Williams, director for the Alliance.
The purple banner guide is an annual book detailing the art studios and galleries on the Sunshine Coast featuring over 70 artists from Langdale to Lund.