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City Commission Work Session Minutes - October 28, 2021

1) Present

Mayor Phil Anderson, Commissioners Marty Sullivan, Sheila DeCiccio, Carolyn Cooper and Todd Weaver; City Manager Randy Knight, City Attorney Kurt Ardaman and City Clerk Rene Cranis.

2) Also Present Present: Vanessa Balta, Sustainability Manager, Agnieszka Tarnawska, Sustainability Specialist; Clarissa Howard, Director of Communications and Sustainability; Ben Ellis, Chairman KWPB and Sustainability Board.

3) Call to Order Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m.

4) Discussion Item(s) a. Sustainability Action Plan 2021 Update Ms. Balta gave a presentation on the processes leading to the creation of the Sustainability Action Plan. She reviewed topics on climate resiliency influence and impact in the transportation, energy and waste sectors, renewables in electric utility, targets and objectives.

Mayor Anderson noted that the biggest impact the city can have is on what can be controlled such as fuel mix and investment alongside electric utility.

Commissioner Sullivan stated that he would like to share ideas on pushing forward 100% renewable energy resolution, determine how to enhance the working relationship between Sustainability and other departments, prioritize the actions and explore grant opportunities. (Amended in November 10 meeting to add: Commissioner Sullivan further stated that he felt it is important we pass the resolution for 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.)

Commissioner Weaver spoke on economic factors and stated there are good economic reasons to look at renewable energy due to costs. He stated he feels transportation and power generations are two issues pertinent to the discussion and the city should incorporate solar on public buildings and partnerships for parking garage roofs.

Mayor Anderson said he is reluctant to adopt a resolution without a plan to determine how to achieve 100% renewable energy along with a time line and costs. He suggested moving forward with a conceptual feasibility study based on development technology that points the way to 100% renewable energy at some point in time, before adopting resolution. This was supported by Commissioners DeCiccioand Cooper.

KWPBS Chairman Ben Ellis added that the board agrees that the next step should be a feasibility study.

Commissioner Sullivan feels there is no disadvantage to adopting resolution as it will help the city better focus on the goal.

Mayor Anderson stated the feasibility study should have two goals, achieving 80% and 100%, and what is needed to meet each goal. Ms. Balta suggested the study include different pathways to offer multiple ways to get to 100%. Agreed to by consensus.

Commissioner Weaver stated he feels the resolution would inform the residents that the study is being done to meet goals. He spoke about solar and its positive economic impact and battery life and storage. Discussion followed on different options for solar, base loads, industrial battery storage and direction of the feasibility study.

Ms. Balta explained that the city is working on the Transportation Master Plan and upon completion, staff will implement components of the Transportation & Urban Form of the Sustainability Action Plan. Commissioner Sullivan asked how the commission can enhance the relationship between these departments. Ms. Balta stated that including sustainability staff on task forces relating to sustainability issues would be helpful.

With reference to the transportation component of the plan, Commissioner Cooper suggested creating objectives specific to connecting people to Sunrail in the “last mile.”

Discussion followed on the city’s electric vehicle long term conversion plan and tree canopy provisions. Commissioner Coper suggested a review of land use regulations and their impact on the tree canopy. She expressed interest in expanding the city’s water reuse program. She raised the question of how the commission can tie aspirational goals to the strategic plan and asked the mayor to share the most recent version available of the strategic plan. She discussed ways to add resiliency goals to the plan.

Discussion followed on monetary and non-monetary costs and next steps for moving forward with the plan. Ms. Balta stated that she has direction from the commission and can provide updates. Mayor Anderson stated that the discussion to allocate funds for feasibility study should be held at the next commission meeting. In addition, he suggested having a work session to prioritize items. In-depth discussion was held on the elements of the feasibility study and the path forward for the action plan.

b. Gas Powered Leaf Blower Policy Recommendations Ms. Balta reviewed recommendations for a rebate program, internal operations policy, education, and an ordinance that would reduce hours for use for gas powered blowers and incentivize use of electric leaf blowers. She responded to questions on limitation of hours, incentives and impact. Discussion followed on the impact on small businesses and timeline to roll out the program.

Commissioner Weaver discussed issues related to noise generated from gas powered tools and the positive experience a local company is having using electric leaf blowers. He suggested a 30-month phaseout plan.

Commissioner Sullivan asked if an incentive should be offered to start the process moving and stressed the need to be cautious when considering costs. He suggested moving forward with the leaf blowers for residential and commercial as well as all two-stroke powered lawn equipment.

Commissioner DeCiccio favored a 36-month phased approach to accommodate smaller companies. She spoke on concerns she received regarding battery life.

Discussion was held on the city’s plan to move to electric equipment. Mr. Seeley explained that ARPA funding has been allocated to upgrade equipment and that purchase of hand tools will occur in the second quarter of FY 22.

Mayor Anderson stated that the City should be the model and suggested drafting an ordinance or resolution for a 36-month conversion. Agreed to by consensus.

Commissioner Cooper stated she would like a more serious reduction in hours and an increase in penalties for commercial businesses blowing debris into storm drains. After discussion, consensus was to limit hours for commercial maintenance on Sundays.

Mayor Anderson summarized that there is consensus to draft an ordinance for a 36-month implementation and evaluating timing for moving to electric equipment with further discussion needed on residential and commercial, defining the time for Sunday use and change in penalty for commercial lawn services impacting storm drains. Agreed to by consensus.

5) Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:16 p.m.

Posted to on December 28, 2021.

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