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Regional District gets green grant

A recent grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will help the Regional District manage population increases in a sustainable manner.

FCM president Berry Vrbanovic and Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan announced a Green Municipal Fund grant of $174,900 for the Regional District on Wednesday.

The money will go toward updating the Regional District's growth strategy.

The Regional Growth Strategy was adopted in 2000—the revised strategy will look to reflect population changes and other changes that have taken place since then.

"The document will take a look over the next 20 years, where we want to be, and try to build policies that will help achieve that vision," said David Widdis, regional growth strategy coordinator for the Regional District.

Widdis said that the grant should cover most of the total cost for completing the new Regional Growth Strategy.

The review process will include consultations with citizens and municipal leaders, as well as with local First Nations, neighbouring regional districts and the province.

The revised growth strategy will include updated strategies for energy, transportation and water, greenhouse gas reductions and climate change issues resulting from the region's growth.

"The purpose of the Regional Growth Strategy is to promote socially, economically and environmentally healthy growth that makes efficient use of the region's land, resources and public services," said Regional District chair Robert Hobson.

"The goals of the strategy include controlling urban sprawl, promoting alternative transportation options such as walking, bicycling and urban transit, protecting the environment and promoting energy efficiency and conservation."

According to Vrbanovic, FCM's Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments.

"The financing and knowledge provided by the fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable," said Vrbanovic.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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