Nov. 15 was a big day for the Municipality of Argyle, as it got official worth of more than $3.4 million in grants and loans for its new administration building. The federal funding is provided through the Green Municipal Fund of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
West Nova MP Colin Fraser was at the municipal office in Tusket Thursday afternoon to announce the funding on behalf of Philippe Champagne, minister of infrastructure and communities.
The money will allow the Municipality of Argyle to construct a new, fully accessible and net-zero-energy administration building (a facility that will only use as much energy as it creates).
The facility is to be built in Tusket on Route 308.
The new building will include better insulation and air tightness, a heating and cooling geothermal system, low-flow taps and ultra-low-flush toilets, along with solar panels to supply building electricity.
The building also will have greater accessibility, with a bigger parking lot, wheelchair accessible entrances and more spacious rooms and meeting spaces.
The new facility will replace the municipality’s longtime location on Courthouse Road, a building that was built in the 1940s and has served as the Municipality of Argyle’s administrative home for more than four decades.
“The government of Canada is pleased to partner with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support green infrastructure projects that will build healthier, cleaner communities now and for future generations,” Fraser said. “This innovative municipal building in (the Municipality of) Argyle is another step towards improving the energy efficiency of municipal infrastructure in our communities, reducing our carbon footprint and creating better lives for Canadians.”
Those on hand for the occasion included Bill Karsten, first vice-president of the FCM and a councillor in Halifax Regional Municipality.
“Today’s announcement highlights how municipal leaders understand both the needs on the ground and local solutions that work,” he said. “They are innovating to build more sustainable, resilient and livable communities.”
Argyle Warden Richard Donaldson, another of the day’s speakers, expressed thanks on behalf of the municipality.
While much emphasis has been placed on the environmental components of the new building, Donaldson noted that a lack of accessibility has been one of the biggest issues with the existing administration building, something the new facility will address.
When construction of the new building will start has yet to be determined. Bids submitted recently for the project were over budget. The municipality has set a budget of $3.85 million for the project.
The municipality has said it is committed to the project’s net-zero-energy component and to the proposed size of the facility.