Amherst receives grant to help reduce green-house-gas emissions

The Town of Amherst has received a $75,000 grant from the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines that will help the town reduce its green-house-gas emissions.

The grant was announced by Deputy-premier Karen Casey during a news conference in Truro on Jan. 30, 2020, that was attended by Mayor David Kogon and Andrew Fisher, the town’s planning and strategic initiatives manager.

Kogon told the news conference that climate change is real and the town owed it to its citizens to address it.

 "That is why the Town of Amherst is committed to taking action on climate change," Kogon said. "The $75,000 we are receiving today, through the Nova Scotia Carbon 4 Bgovernment's Low Carbon Communities Program, will help the town develop a community-wide energy strategy that will result in an action plan that will lead to concrete reduction in the town's green house gas emissions.

"The Town wishes to thank the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines for this grant that will help us become a greener community and will enable us to continue to be a great town in which to live, work and play.”

Kogon pointed out that last June, the town, at the urging of the Amherst Youth Town Council, declared a climate emergency.

"Since then, our council and staff have been working on a number of initiatives in order to do our part in addressing climate change," the mayor said.

He noted that even before issuing the declaration, the town has been a leader in green initiatives. As examples, Kogon pointed out Amherst was the first community in Nova Scotia to switch to LED street lights, has implemented an active transportation plan, installed a wind turbine at the sewage treatment plant and is putting solar panels on the Amherst Stadium, the police station and firehall.

Other examples, the mayor said, included partnering with Nova Scotia Power in a Smart Grid Energy Implementation project, the adoption of a Property Assessed Clean Energy Bylaw, joining the Partners for Climate Protection's Five Milestone Framework and a two-year agreement with EfficiencyOne that will see an on-site energy manager provide the town with the technical expertise needed to help Amherst reduce green house gas emission through increased corporate energy efficiency and the further adoption of renewable energy sources.

At the news conference, Casey also announced funding for two Colchester County projects. The county will receive $100,000 to design a pedestrian and active transportation bridge at the Fundy Discovery Centre in Lower Truro that will link a network of trails that run south and north of the Salmon River.

The county also received $70,000 to develop a community energy emissions plan to help guide the municipality to a low-carbon future.

In announcing the funding, Casey said, "Nova Scotia continues to be a national leader in reducing emissions to fight climate change. 

"Communities across the province understand the urgency and importance of reducing emissions, and they want to do their part to benefit from Nova Scotia's cleaner energy future.

"These investments support innovative local ideas that will help grow the green economy and

create jobs in every part of the province."