A Kamloops councillor said the use of a diesel generator to power the Mission Flats Manor supportive housing project is not ideal.
However, Arjun Singh added, the project is addressing a need in the city by housing 55 people.
Singh is known for pushing environmental issues at city hall.
Last month, he told the city’s development, engineering and sustainability committee that the city was failing to meet targets outlined in the Sustainable Kamloops Plan, which he blamed on being insufficiently resourced.
The diesel generator, which emits carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas emissions), has been providing power to the former work camp on Mission Flats Road since November.
“This is something no one wanted to happen, but it did happen,” Singh said.
He said the diesel generator contributes a relatively small portion of the city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and called the housing project “a massive win for the community.”
Singh said glitches are to be expected, given the speed at which the project came together. Meanwhile, he said he is happy to hear the living units will be connected to the BC Hydro power grid within a couple of weeks.
Mission Flats Manor was built by the province and city (with the city leasing the land to Victoria for $1 per year). BC Housing is covering day-to-day costs and ASK Wellness is in charge of operating the living units.
BC Housing spokesperson Tracy Wells said from October 2018 to end of this past April, BC Housing paid $158,047 in diesel costs to operate Mission Flats Manor.
Residents moved in on Nov. 12, 2018.
“Preparations for BC Hydro power to the building were stalled due to cold weather conditions which froze the ground, making hookup inaccessible for crews,” Wells said.
“Because there was an immediate need to house individuals, all partners agreed to open the housing in November 2018 and use a generator to power the building. Hydro preparations had to wait until this spring once the ground thawed.”
Hughes said the former workforce camp went from concept to delivery at an “incredibly rapid pace” of 11 weeks.