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Bridgewater seeking info on housing, transportation costs

Survey will help town solidify Smart Cities Challenge pitch

The Town of Bridgewater recently sent out a one-page survey to residents related to household energy and transportation costs.

Leon de Vreede, the town’s sustainability planner, said the survey would help identify and improve programs for those in energy poverty.

“The survey is really trying to paint a better picture of what kind of (energy) realities people face based on where they live, how they get around and what their income is,” he said.

De Vreede noted that the information gathered from the eight question survey would help solidify the town’s pitch for Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

The Town of Bridgewater is currently one of five communities across Canada competing for a $5 million prize through its Energize Bridgewater program.

The program is the town’s initiative to transition to a clean energy economy and is aiming to raise 20 per cent of residents out of energy poverty by 2028.

“We need some better data on the affordability of energy and housing in the community in order to solidify our pitch,” explained de Vreede.

Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell also stressed the importance of further mapping out an energy efficient approach for the town.

“The information that we are hoping to get back will give us more details and allow us to move forward with various projects targeting affordability planning in a much more targeted and effective way,” he said.

And this approach, added Mitchell, represents an incredible opportunity for the town to improve the lives of its residents.

For example, the information could be used to improve public transportation for areas of town by optimizing routing systems based on need.

“I have never heard of another community that has come together as cohesively as Bridgewater has when it comes to the Energize Bridgewater plan,” said Mitchell.

“People have recognized this for what it can do for our community and the support for it is incredible.

De Vreede explained that the data will be collected, organized and analyzed over the coming weeks; the data will then be retained for three years before being destroyed.

Participation in the survey is voluntary but completed surveys must be returned to Town Hall by Jan. 31.

Surveys can be returned by mail or in person.

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