Climate Smart Community Coalition Sustainability Task Force


WHEREAS, by Resolution dated April 24, 2019, as introduced by Councilor Rachelle Armstrong, the City of Plattsburgh Common Council (“Common Council”) adopted a Climate Smart Community Pledge, which recognized the threat of climate change to our City operations, citizens, and the planet and outlined the ten elements that should be taken to mitigate this threat, increase energy efficiency, and build resilience and sustainability in our City; and

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2019, Colin Read, Mayor of the City of Plattsburgh, announced a 58-point Energy and Economic Resiliency Plan, which set forth categories in which the City and its residents could incentivize and adopt increased energy efficiency programs, remove disincentives for energy efficiency, improve planning for future energy enhancements, reduce greenhouse gas creation, and improve energy and social resiliency; and

WHEREAS, in furtherance of the Climate Smart Community Pledge, the NYS DEC recommends the establishment of a task force and coordinator to implement the Pledge.

NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Common Council hereby establishes the "Joint Task Force on Sustainability and Climate Smart Practices in Community Planning," hereinafter called the "City of Plattsburgh Sustainability Task Force.” The purpose of the Sustainability Task Force is two-fold: first, to audit the City’s energy portfolio and consumption and advise the Common Council on energy, waste, efficiency, and climate related issues so that the City can lead by example, and second, to foster and enhance a community platform to improve community resilience, economic transformation and broad public engagement with respect to these initiatives; and it is further

RESOLVED, that members of the Sustainability Task Force, per the nominations and selections below, will be approved by the Common Council. Each member will be appointed for a two-year renewable term and will serve without compensation. The Sustainability Task Force shall include the following representatives:

A. An employee/officer within the City or member of the Common Council to serve as “Coordinator”/Chair of the Sustainability Task Force to be nominated by the Mayor in consultation with the Common Council.

B. An employee/officer within the City of Plattsburgh’s Municipal Lighting Department as nominated by the Manager of MLD.

C. A professor/adjunct professor from Clinton County Community College or SUNY Plattsburgh, or alternatively, a representative from the business or industrial community with experience in site operations, as nominated by the Mayor.

D. A member of a local, not-for-profit corporation, or related organization or affiliation as nominated by the Mayor.

E. A representative from the Climate Smart Community Coalition, as nominated by that Coalition.

F. An employee/officer within the City of Plattsburgh’s Building Inspector’s Office or Planning Board as nominated by the City of Plattsburgh’s Building Inspector.

G. An employee/officer within the City of Plattsburgh’s Community Development Department selected by the Director of Community Development;

RESOLVED, that the Sustainability Task Force shall establish rules of procedure and a meeting schedule at their first meeting; and it is further

RESOLVED, that the Sustainability Task Force shall meet within City Hall and undertake the following tasks:

• Review the Climate Smart Community Pledge; 58-Point Energy and Economic Resiliency Plan; City’s Procurement Policy; City’s Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan; MLD-policies and regulations; the City’s energy portfolio; state and federal programs which address climate change; and other related materials.

• Set forth the tasks necessary to complete an energy audit of City-owned properties and vehicles. This will require the task force to gather data, inventory Green House Gas (“GHG”) emissions, and establish baselines for local government operations and community sectors. Develop quantifiable interim GHG emission targets consistent with emission reduction goals and propose a schedule and financing strategy to meet them. Encourage stakeholder and public input and develop an action plan.

• Research and evaluate potential options for enhancements and improvements to the City’s energy use, conservation programs, energy portfolio; zoning code; comprehensive plan; tax code; procurement policy; grant opportunities; and other greenhouse gas initiatives.

• Recommend to the Common Council appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to Climate Smart Goals or new local laws and ordinances.

• Work directly with the Mayor and City departments to set ongoing goals for decreasing electricity and fossil fuel energy demand consistent with the Climate Smart Communities pledge.

• Develop plans to supply 100% of the City's power, heat and hot water needs from solar, wind, and hydropower.

• Identify opportunities to incorporate climate protection, sustainability and environmental goods and service industries into economic development plans. Encourage Climate Smart solid waste management practices.

• Researching and supporting projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the entire community/local economy.

• Researching and supporting projects that build community resilience to a changing climate.

• Evaluate risks from unavoidable climate change, set adaptation goals and plan for adaptation. Identify climate change impacts (such as flooding, drought, and extreme temperatures) that could affect the broader community. Identify areas such as water supply and sewer infrastructure that may be at risk due to future changes in climate.

• Produce periodic reports to inform the Common Council and the public on the data and recommendations for the City to implement the goals outlined in the Climate Smart Community Pledge and the 58-Point Energy and Economic Resiliency Plan.

• Work collaboratively with the Climate Smart Community Coalition and similar groups and task forces in the City and neighboring communities to ensure that efforts complement and reinforce one another.

• Review and relay advisory opinions, suggestions and recommendations from the Climate Smart Community Coalition to the Common Council.

• Seek to coordinate, assist, and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions, and individuals within the City of Plattsburgh and neighboring communities in accordance with these purposes; and it is further

RESOLVED, that the Sustainability Task Force shall meet at least four times a year, or more frequently per their agenda, and will not hold its first meeting until at least 5 members have been approved by the Common Council; and it is further

RESOLVED, that vacancies on the Sustainability Task Force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.

RESOLVED, that the Sustainability Task Force shall comply with the New York Open Meetings Law and the New York Freedom of Information Act, and shall maintain sign-in sheets for attendance, and shall be a standing task force until dissolved by Resolution of the Common Council.

Task Force Members:

a) Councilor Rachelle Armstrong (Coordinator)

b) Joel Chase (MLD)

c) James Welch (Building Inspector's Office)

d) Ethan Vinson (Community Development)

e) Scott Buffett (College and Industry)

f) Lisa Bergmann (Climate Smart Coalition)

g) Wouter Rietsema (Non-Profit)