Jamestown Board of Public Utilities‘ General Manager doesn’t see a proposal to register Jamestown as a Climate Smart Community as negatively impacting the utility’s operations.
Dave Leathers met with Jamestown City Council Monday to give his thoughts on a resolution that would register the city as a Climate Smart Community in New York State.
Leathers said the BPU is very focused on clean energy standards and the Climate Leadership and Protection Act, “Those are state mandates, state laws that are focused on significant changes in the New York State economy related to greenhouse gas emissions and green energy as well as transportation, and buildings, and agriculture, and waste, and industry. So, that’s really where all of our efforts and all of of our focus are.”
Leathers said he sees the Climate pledge as a municipal effort and that it’s up to the City administration and Council to decide what they want to pursue, “Approving a resolution to take the pledge, I don’t see it as some huge, significant step. And I definitely don’t see it as anything that’s going to impact the BPU operations.”
Under the Climate Smart Community certification, local governments accumulate points for planning and implementation actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community resilience to the worsening impacts of climate change.
Certified communities can take part in the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program, which is a competitive 50/50 matching grant program for municipalities to implement projects focused on climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation.
Leathers said the pledge doesn’t commit the city to anything hard, “If in a year from now, you’ve gone into this and you decide you want to rescind that resolution for some reason, you could do that. There are items in the list of potential tasks that the BPU staff would be involved in and would be supportive.”
He said if the city has been certified as a Climate Smart community it could gain the city extra points when applying for grants.
Climate Smart Guidelines include:
1) Build a climate-smart community.
2) Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action.
3) Decrease energy use.
4) Shift to clean, renewable energy.
5) Use climate-smart materials management.
6) Implement climate-smart land use.
7) Enhance community resilience to climate change.
8) Support a green innovation economy.
9) Inform and inspire the public.
10) Engage in an evolving process of climate action.
Director of Development Crystal Surdyk said if the pledge was adopted that she could see the city’s Principal Planner acting as the required Coordinator for the program with the Planning Commission serving as the Task Force.
Council member at large Kim Ecklund asked for information on any upfront costs that might be involved with the city taking the pledge.