The role of Mayor and Council is much more than just dealing with bylaws, water, sewer and roads. It is also about providing stewardship for the public assets of its community.
In 2008, Radium signed up to be part of the BC Climate Action Plan, which is a road map for municipalities to follow to help reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 33 percent by 2020.
As a compact, high density community with energy efficient buildings, we continue to use yearly measuring tools, such as the SMARTtool, to help determine our progress of energy and emissions inventory.
Before it became fashionable to look at urban sprawl versus high density, Radium was already well ahead of the curve as it chose to go “up instead of out”!
“Smart Growth principles are a collection of land use and development principles that aim to enhance our quality of life, preserve the natural environment, and save money over time; smart growth principles ensure that growth is fiscally, environmentally and socially responsible and recognizes the connections between development and quality of life.” (www.smartgrowth.bc.ca)
With our new homes, developers are encouraged to use green construction standards in all their buildings within Radium. We continually assess our older buildings such as our community hall, which was recently appraised, evaluated and then received an enhanced ventilation system to assist with its energy use.
Radium, as a member of the Water Smart Community, also continually promotes water conservation, and has just completed a Water and Wastewater Sustainability Plan.
Furthermore, signing on with the East Kootenay Energy Diet program enables Radium residents to have an energy assessment of their home, complete energy efficiency upgrades, and access to various rebates and subsidies for the assessment and renovations performed.
With a philosophy of walking over driving, it is easy for Radium to support a sidewalk network and new trail development in and around the community. We are intrinsically linked with our natural surroundings and wildlife in a harmonious relationship, where attachment to place is about the ability to work, recreate, and feel connected to people and community at a social, economic, and recreational level.
Authentic. Connected. Self-sufficient. Beautiful. Balanced. Compact. These are the words that reflect our vision. With strong stewardship we can and will continue to make our vision grow.
Dee Conklin is the mayor of the Village of Radium Hot Springs and a Regional District of East Kootenay director for the Columbia Valley.