The District of Hope has taken tons of heat since November’s flooding for not applying for grants.
But this week, council voted to support an application to the 2022 Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund. The target is a $25,000 grant to “improve the resiliency of the District of Hope EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) through the provision of an emergency power house.
Specifically, that means a generator.
A staff report prepared by director of operations Kevin Dicken explained that when the first atmospheric river event hit Hope Nov. 14, it exposed a vulnerability, “in that the District of Hope does not currently have a redundant power supply to the EOC at District Hall.”
“A power outage occurred at approximately 14:30 on Nov. 14, 2021 and Shaw communications were disrupted,” Dicken wrote. “Hope’s EOC was activated at 13:00 on Nov. 14 but (it was) handled remotely until a physical location with power and communications could be established on Nov. 17 in the basement of Fraser Canyon Hospital.”
Power was restored to the District of Hope building, but Shaw was not able to resurrect communications until Nov. 23.
If the District succeeds in getting the $25,000 grant, there will still be $100,000 to cover, which has been accounted for in the 2002 budget draft that council discussed last week. The total project cost of $125,000 includes supply and delivery of the generator, site preparations, a concrete pad, electrical connections, a natural gas connection, fencing and security provisions.
There is also a small contingency built in to buffer any increased cost to goods and services.
The Hope Citizens Emergency and Disaster Planning Committee has been the group applying heat to the District for not applying for previous grants. Spokesperson Sharlene Harrison-Hinds said they’re glad to see this one moving ahead.
“It’s a good start to our community being better prepared for emergencies, especially for an ESS center to have dependable power and be able to help citizens be safe,” she said.