Geothermal talks put on hold

2/20/2013

Geothermal power was put on the shelf yesterday in Dawson Creek city council when councilors decided to focus first on water issues in the city before starting a new project.

The talk of geothermal power dates back to prior to the building of the multiplex. At the time council was talking about alternative ways to power the building. It was put on hold shortly after but has been brought up again by the city's energy manager Matthew MacWilliam. The debate struck up once again in council when a report was brought forward.

“In the report today showed that, yes it could be, but it would be quite costly. So the motion today was to put that to the side right now for the more important issues we have right now which is the water and the sewer in the infrastructure in the community,” Mayor Mike Bernier said.

Bernier says that, while water security and sewer systems are a hot topic in the city right now, talking about them and geothermal power is really two different issues.

“The study that was coming forward wasn't saying that this is what we should do now, what it was saying is this is the opportunity that is there and we should continue exploring the opportunity. Myself and a few councilors thought that maybe that would be a good thing to do, don't close any door yet. It wasn't saying that we were favouring one project over another. All the projects are important. Definitely, no one would argue that water safety and information that we need to get out there is probably the hot topic that we need to deal with. But we don't want to close the door as I say on the geo thermal opportunities.”

The motion to put the geothermal talk on hold was not a unanimous one; councilors Sue Kenny and Cheryl Shuman voted against it. Bernier says that the motion passing means that this topic will not come up again until after the water issues are dealt with, unless this or another council decides to approve another motion saying it should.