At the recent Regional District(FVRD) Board of Directors meeting, an impromptu discussion broke out regarding the implementation of a new strategy to solve Area B, Director Dennis Adamson’s dilemma about the costly mileage alleged to comprehensively oversee his large geographic region.
This resulted in a progressive new motion for the board to deliberate upon.
“With Area B, being 3,119 square kilometres with 15 communities scattered about — the FVRD for the last decade or so has paid extra travel money to allow the public access to their elected official and this was policy,” Adamson told the Standard.“The board decided it wasn’t fair and that everyone should have the same 400 kilometres, even though the smallest area is 119 square kilometres.”
The suggestion of purchasing an electric car was brought to the table, in lieu of increasing the budget parameters stipulated for the even distribution of funds allocated to each area. Adamson’s plea for an extended budget was largely based on the request of members within his jurisdiction for more face time.
“Sunshine Valley, Yale, and several First Nation communities wrote letters to the district, saying we need more than 400 kilometres a month to have our elected official available to us to help build a relationship,” said Adamson.
The board decided that the amount of money necessary to facilitate the cost in it’s existing mileage budget could potentially cover the payments of the electric car, while allowing Adamson, in this instance, to travel more frequently to his area destinations.
“As long as it’s feasible and if it will work I’m all for it — if they can figure out a way to deal with it great,” he said. “Out in the country there’s mountains, it’s quite a drive to Sunshine Valley in the winter, so if they can get all that worked out — I’m in.”
According to directives, the expense incurred by purchasing the eco-friendly vehicle would be justified by monies saved in fuel costs, by eliminating mileage charges. The board voted unanimously in favour of the motion, which came directly from City of Chilliwack Director and Mayor Sharon Gaetz.
“We’re committed to reducing our environmental foot print and promoting a reduction in green house gases and we’ve been exploring the idea of adding an electric vehicle to our fleet for sometime,” Gaetz told the Standard. “They have electric vehicle charging stations in Boston Bar and Hope and they are the super-charger kind, which takes twenty minutes to fully charge — there is also one in Chilliwack, so it’s feasible.”
The foray of the board into the future of green technology initiatives bodes well for increasing the environmental consciousness of the community, while offering a viable solution to Adamson’s concerns.
“It’s a first kind of attempt to see if there’s another way of doing this kind of business, so it would be for a vehicle for the district only, which at the end of Adamson’s term in 2018, would go back into our inventory — but we think it’s a good way to be able to do this,” she said. “The Province and the Fraser Basin Council have been working together to implement the use of electric vehicles.”