The District of Kent will be making sure members of the community can get out of the heat this summer, by opening up designated cooling centres in the municipality.
According to meteorologist Chris Scott, this summer is expected to be hotter and drier than normal in B.C.; last year’s summer saw B.C. break records for summer electricity use, largely due to people turning on their air conditioners and fans.
According to Kent’s director of corporate services Clair Lee, people had been looking for warming stations throughout the past winter, as well as places to get away from the smoke and heat last summer.
This year, she said, the Emergency Social Services team is looking to see if the Agricultural Hall can be used as a designated cooling area, as it has cooking facilities available.
Last year, people had used the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre for its air-conditioning, but Lee said the district wanted to find a space that would be available in case the CRCC already had programming going on.
“We also had people use the (CRCC) for shower purposes as well, if they don’t have running water at home,” Lee said. “We have had those requests from residents.”
In addition to visiting the district’s designated cooling site, should it be approved, residents are also encouraged to visit the library and the CRCC, as well as malls in nearby communities to access air conditioning and get away from this summer’s potential smoke.
Mayor Sylvia Pranger also spoke about the need for air-conditioned spaces in the district, particularly for the district’s vulnerable elderly population and youth.
“They’re predicting this is going to be another long, hot summer,” mayor Sylvia Pranger said. “If worst came to worst, this is an air-conditioned room,” she added, looking around at the council chambers.
“We don’t have malls, so we have to find other sources.”
-with files from Canadian Press