“Knick, knack, paddy whack – give the dog a bone.” Mayors tries to soothe the environmentalists.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON   June 28, 2012  The Mayor threw the environmental community a bone and hoped that would put an end to the howling.  And for a while it might – but not for long – there was no meat on that bone.

The issue had to do with the pier – again.

Working from the top of the graphic there is a beacon, that's the curved object. The turbine was supposed to sit atop the beacon with a shaft going down through the middle of the beacon. At the bottom of the beacon there is an observation deck with stairs leading down to the main deck of the pier. If the turbine is not going to be installed - then there is no reason for the beacon to be in place either. Cap it off at the observation deck.

The turbine that was to send a message to the world that passes by Burlington, those hundreds of thousands that drive over the Skyway bridge and would see the lights on at night and at some point learn those lights were powered by a turbine the city had put up and that they city wasn’t going to pay a light bill for that pier for at least 50 years.  Great message.

Then of course there is the not having to pay for the electricity.  That was said to come in at $3200 a year; and we all know that hydro rates are not going to remain static but assume for a second that they will remain static – $3200 x 50 years; that $160,000 we could have saved.  And we wouldn’t have to spend as much as a dime to save that money.

That turbine was paid for with a provincial government grant that Burlington Hydro got for the city.  The grant was for $100,000 which, based on the latest set of numbers was more than enough to pay for the purchase and installation of the turbine – assuming that the turbine didn’t require any design changes.  And that is not a question that has been fully answered yet.

The bone the Mayor gave the environmentalists was this:


Direct the Executive Director of Finance upon total project completion to transfer the value of the approved change order for the wind turbine element of the Brant Street Pier project to the Capital Purposes Reserve for renewable energy projects; and Direct the Executive Director of Corporate Strategic Initiatives to advise the Community Energy Plan Steering Committee that this reserve is in place for future consideration.

Make a note of that one – it is sure to become an election issue.  Note too, that all this is to get figured out at the total project completion stage.  That sort of kicks the day of reckoning pretty far forward doesn’t it ?

Don’t think the environmental community broke out the champagne over this one.




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