The community centre’s 30-year-old air conditioning and heating units are past their serviceable life and in need of replacement, director of community services Cory Labrecque said in a report delivered to council on Tuesday.
Replacing key components of the HVAC system is estimated to set the town back close to $100,000, although it is hoped that grant funding will cover a substantial portion of the cost.
Labrecque says he expects to find out around January if an $82,389 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Adaptation grant application is successful. In the application to UBCM the district has stated they would contribute up to $16,000 toward the project from the 2023 capital budget.
“Our air conditioning and heating system is considered critical infrastructure as it is relied upon daily to heat and cool an important community building and its community patrons. During extreme heat events the system is even more critical for operating Peachland’s only designated public cooling centre,” said Labrecque.
Council heard that the town’s contracted HVAC technician was required on-site multiple times over the summer to troubleshoot the air conditioning system, which has not been able to keep up with seasonal cooling demands.
“This resulted in the loss of blood at a Canadian Blood Services clinic and several complaints from recreation patrons during the summer,” said Labrecque in his report.
He said he has a medium to high level of confidence that the grant application will be successful.
“In terms of a backup plan, yes, we do have one. Senior management has been in close discussions for the last couple weeks and we do have another climate related grant that is provided to us every year,” said Labrecque, who noted the backup grant is also for around $80,000.
“I would never want to let the government off the hook,” said interim CAO Joe Creron. “We’re going to tell them right now if they don’t fund this then they’re going to have a problem when we have a heat dome because this is critical infrastructure.”
Creron said if things don’t go the way they want, it can be discussed during upcoming budget deliberations.