A Parksville low-flush toilet rebate program to encourage water conservation was extended by council recently, but only after considerable debate.
“I will not be supporting this motion, it seems we’re spending money on a weekly or monthly basis,” said coun. Al Greir, clearly frustrated by the motion to add $3,000 to this year’s $11,000 budget for the program.
“We can’t keep giving out money, I’m going to be asking our finance manager for some severe cuts this year,” he added, pointing to the anti-corporate protests on Wall Street as a reason to cut spending.
Chief administrative officer Fred Manson said he didn’t have the number handy, but was sure there was plenty of money left in council’s $25,000 contingency fund that could be used to top up the toilet rebate fund.
Coun. Marc Lefebvre who introduced the motion and frequently promotes it, said there have been 137 rebates paid out this year alone, totaling $10,275 and while council will look at a new budget for the program next year, this year’s budget is depleted.
Acting mayor Chris Burger pointed out that the more water the city conserves, the longer they can delay expensive water upgrades, and senior governments will require the city to have conservation measures like this program when they apply for grants for the water intake and treatment facility projects.
With only Greir voting against, the rest of council passed the motion to extend the program by $3,000.
The program grants one $75 rebate per residence for replacing toilets using 13 litres or more per flush with a new CSA-approved low flush toilet of six litres or less.
People can apply through the city’s website at www.city.parksville.bc.ca, at the Parksville Civic & Technology Centre, or by call 250-248-6144 for more information.