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School district applies for funding

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The Howe Sound School District is requesting an extra $30,00 in natural gas funding from the provincial government to help offset rising energy costs over the past 12 months.

John Hetherington, the assistant secretary-treasurer, says School District 48 ranks 51st out of 58 school districts in terms of high fuel costs. He says District 48's natural gas bill for the 1999/2000 financial year just under $80,000, so the latest increase represent a significant burden. The total energy cost for the district was just under $650,000.

"We have applied for a special purpose grant as was requested of all BC schools by the provincial government in February, because of the gas price hikes," Hetherington said.

He says schools had to provide consumption and expenditure costs for natural gas for the months of February 2000, November 2000 and February 2001. Hetherington says it's good that the government recognizes the natural gas price hikes but says no special funding appears to be forth-coming for the rise in propane costs.

"Propane provides 26.9 per cent of space heat in the district and both Whistler schools and Pemberton Secondary are fuelled by propane." Comparatively, natural gas provides 58.1 per cent of heating in schools, followed by electricity at 9.9 per cent and oil at five per cent.

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