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More EV charging stations coming to community centres

Electric vehicle drivers will soon have even more places to charge up their ride.

Electric vehicle drivers will soon have even more places to charge up their ride.

Vancouver park board commissioners Monday night approved installing a minimum of two electric vehicle charging stations at Dunbar, Killarney and Trout Lake community centres.

Between 2011 and 2014, the city established more than 100 charging stations across the city. There are already charging stations at several park board properties including Coal Harbour, Hillcrest and Mount Pleasant community centres, as well as the Vancouver Aquarium and three along Beach Avenue at Cardero, Broughton and Bute streets. There is also a fast charging station at Empire Fields, which was installed in 2016. City staff reports that those stations provide thousands of charging sessions a year.

In 2016, city council approved its EV Ecosystem Strategy with the aim of expanding the current network of charging stations to all public city properties, including about 20 community centres. The strategy includes $2 million in capital funding for 2016 to 2021.

In addition to establishing at least two charging stations this year at the new locations, there will be additional capacity to install future stations as demand increases.

Stanley Park water supply tunnel

Commissioners voted to allow Metro Vancouver to continue with the design for upgrades to the water supply tunnel that runs through a portion of Stanley Park.

The board has been working with Metro Vancouver on the project. At an in camera meeting in June, the board granted permission for the regional government to start public engagement on the project to repair the current water main.

The tunnel is part of the system that delivers water from Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant in North Vancouver to residents and businesses in Vancouver, Musqueam First Nation, Richmond, Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation. For the most part it has only experienced minor leaks over the past 85 years however in August 2016 it experienced a major leak near Lost Lagoon. An assessment of the pipe following that leak determined that it is reaching the end of its serviceable lifespan.

Following public consultation, which included consulting with Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, staff determined that the replacement project would require tunneling deep underground to protect Indigenous cultural resources in the park and to limit impacts to the natural environment.

With park board approval this week, Metro Vancouver will proceed with the next steps in the project — design, geotechnical drilling and detailed studies, including environmental, archaeological, seismic and traffic impact studies. Staff said in a report that it’s anticipated the studies will conclude in late 2020.

Once the studies are complete, staff will report back to the board at which point commissioners will consider whether or not to allow construction to start. The project is also subject to approval from Parks Canada.