Town Council Study Session
June 10, 2009
CALL TO ORDER - 6:05 p.m.


Paul Loomis, Mayor
K.C. Carter, Vice Mayor
Paula Abbott, Council Member
Bill Garner, Council Member
Barry Gillaspie, Council Member
Al Kunisch, Council Member
Salette Latas, Council Member


Environmental Sustainability Plan Update (Green Team)

Click Here for Item 1

Principal Planner Bayer Vella presented an update on the proposed Environmental Sustainability Plan and explained that the draft plan summarizes current and proposed sustainable practices for Town facilities and operations.  He stated that greater effort has been applied to the draft plan to include specific actions that would have measurable benchmarks.  He then highlighted the steps in the Sustainability Program:
  1) Make Commitment (established by Council Resolution)
  2) Assess Performance
  3) Establish Goals
  4) Create Action Plan
  5) Implement Action Plan
  6) Evaluate Progress
  7) Recognize Achievements
  8) Re-assess as needed

#1 Establish Measurable Goals:
  ~ Utilize the United States Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
     - Kyoto Protocol (7% reduction from 1990 energy use levels by 2012)
  ~ Energy Star Challenge - improve energy consumption of commercial/industrial buildings by 10% or more (Energy audit for the Town facilities is under way)

#2 Benchmarking:
  ~ Track energy and water consumption.  (Current electricity consumption by Town facilities is $1.2+ million annually. A 10% energy savings for Town buildings would be approximately $20,000 annually; for all Town facilities - $122,919 per year).
  ~ Identify under-performing buildings
  ~ Set priorities
  ~ Monitor progress
  ~ Verify improvements, establish goals

Create Action Plan:
   - Draft as presented is approximately 50% complete
   - Green Team is still working on all ideas
   - Current focus is internal but also working on external plans (Gray Water, Solar Ready, Rainwater Harvesting)

Sustainability Plan Categories:
  1) Sustainability
  2) Land conservation and planning   
  3) Transportation efficiencies
  4) Building
  5) Water conservation
  6) Renewable resources
  7) Waste reduction
  8) Stormwater
  9) Procurement

Four main elements/ideas:
  ~ Organization (Staff organized to manage energy consumption)
  ~ Conservation (Using less with less, i.e. paper use)
  ~ Efficiency (Energy Audit)
  ~ Communication (Communication plan and internal marketing efforts)

Discussion and comments ensued regarding:
 ~ U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
 ~ Policy to maintain seasonal building temperatures (intent is to set standard)
 ~ Possible use of methane gases from landfills
 ~ Flex fuel vehicles (staff to look into concept)
 ~ Two studies being conducted: 1) Pima Association of Governments (PAG) is conducting a greenhouse gas inventory to be used for a regional model, and 2) The Town’s energy audit focuses on Town buildings and facilities, street lights, traffic lights, etc. (This study will identify specific elements, return on investments, etc.  It will be used as part of the second grant submittal to the Arizona Department of Energy). 
 ~ Results of Arizona Score Card (Smart Growth) survey - due to budget cuts at State level, there will probably not be any further work on this item.  (Town can use information from survey as a self assessment tool).
 ~ Current sustainability study is strictly environmental.  There is more to sustainability than buildings, energy, etc. (i.e. handling of money, land use).  
 ~ Use of products that can be recycled or re-used (discontinue use of styrofoam cups, plates, etc.)
 ~ Funding - Staff will look into financing opportunities.  Common funding opportunity - use energy savings as a finance tool to keep a revolving fund to pay for additional items.
 ~ Cultural areas (Honey Bee Village, Steam Pump Ranch), protect sites but still be able to hold educational events, tours, etc.
 ~ Fleet management - Goal is to reduce fuel consumption by at least 10%.  Fleet Management program would focus on tire pressure, air filters, etc. including monitoring fuel use.
 ~ Energy Star goals are geared towards public buildings. The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement focuses on sustainability goals for the entire community.
 ~ Make a commitment to move forward, set goals for sustainability, educate the public and get their buy-in, possibly provide Town incentives to citizens to reduce greenhouse gases.


Discussion of the creation of a potential Sustainability Commission

Click Here for Item 2

Russ Newberg, Management Intern, explained that over the past several years, the Town has adopted a more comprehensive approach to environmental policy which included the adoption of a Resolution which required all new buildings and renovations to meet the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design’s (LEED) silver certification.  Further, the Town formed the Green Team that is working on a five-year action plan that addresses strategies and indicators in the areas of water conservation and management, building, transportation, land planning and conservation, procurement, renewable resources, stormwater and waste reduction.  He also reported that based on Council direction to develop recommendations for the possible creation of a Sustainability Commission, staff has researched similar committees in other Arizona jurisdictions.   He then highlighted examples:
 ~Scottsdale: 2 sub-committees: Energy Advisory Committee and Green Building Advisory Committee
 ~ Wickenburg - Ad hoc committee on recycling (creating recycling opportunities for residents)
 ~ Flagstaff: Sustainability Commission (sustainability and climate initiatives)

Mr. Newberg reviewed three possible options for consideration:
 ~ Option A - Sustainable Design and Energy Committee - Would provide an opportunity to build upon the Council’s green building and energy priorities.  Possible focus: green building, procurement, renewable energy and transportation efficiencies.
 ~ Option B - Waste Reduction and Recycling Task Force - Would assess waste reduction and recycling opportunities within the Town’s departments and the residential and business communities in order to make recommendations for community-wide programs.
 ~ Option C - Environmental Sustainability Commission - Would address all areas and would make recommendations regarding efforts such as water harvesting, gray water, solar requirements, wastewater, land use planning conservation, etc.

Discussion followed regarding:
 ~ Composition of commission/committee: qualifications and size of possible Commission.    
 ~ Look at similar commissions in cities/towns with population similar to Oro Valley. 
 ~ Citizens have expressed interest in this type of commission.
 ~ How would this new commission relate to the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Development Review Board?  What would its impact be and what are we trying to do with this type of commission?  (Create distinct function/roles for new commission.  The intent is not to have developers go through another element of the Town.  Commission would help with planning for the future, Landscape Code, Building Code ordinances such as Rainwater Harvesting, Gray Water and use of Energy Grant money).
 ~ Still a lot of work to do.  Need to create scope for the proposed commission.
 ~ Concern expressed regarding possible staff time that would be required to support a new commission.  Possibly form an ad-hoc committee instead.  
 ~  Support Option C: Envirionmental Sustainability Commission - Opportunities for such a commission seem clear.  Expectation is that this commission would be around for a long time. Important that citizens are involved and are able to make recommendations to the Council. 
 ~ Sustainability Commission would have some overlap with other Town Boards/Commissions especially the Planning and Zoning Commission.  They would have supporting interests, not competing interests.

Mayor Loomis opened the floor for public comment.

Bill Adler, Oro Valley resident, commented that the integrity of the current Boards and Commissions needed to be protected.  He commented that the General Plan provides for short and long term projects.  He stated that the Sustainability Commission could work on long term prospects.  He further commented that the experience for members of the commission should be a satisfying experience and that it should be worth their time.

Further discussion followed regarding:
 ~ Concerned about an additional layer of review. Consider a technical advisory committee verses a citizen advisory committee. 
 ~ Sustainability is more than a land use issue and will affect all parts of the Town Code.
 ~ Opportunities for over lap with other committees but there are other areas where there would be no over lap.  Balance technical and public input.
 ~ General Plan is the benchmark/vision.
 ~ Now is the time to address sustainability for the Town.
 ~ Town Council implements policies.
 ~ Help with programs that Pima Association of Governments (PAG) and other organizations are implementing. 
 ~ Never get anywhere as a community unless make commitment towards sustainability.
 ~ All Town Boards and Commissions care about the Town and work towards protecting the Town’s future. 
 ~ Make sure that citizens are involved as there are many that are interested and that have the necessary expertise.
 ~ Direction to Staff - If Sustainability Commission is formed, utilize Option C.  Bring back to Council for final decision.


Alliance for Innovation Presentation (Presentation will be rescheduled later this summer)

MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Mayor Carter and seconded by Council Member Abbott to adjourn at 7:35 p.m.

Council Member Latas pointed out that Future Agenda Items had not been addressed.

MOTION failed, 2-5 with Mayor Loomis, Council Member Garner, Council Member Gillaspie, Council Member Kunisch, and Council Memmber Latas opposed.


Future Agenda Items

Council Member Latas/ Second by Council Member Garner: Add items to future agenda for discussion and possible action to: 1) join the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2) sign on to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, 3) participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge and 4) create a Sustainability Commission consisting of seven (7) members and utilize Option C.

Council Member Kunisch/ Second by Council Member Abbott - Future study session item: Discussion regarding a July 4, 2010 celebration event.


MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Latas and seconded by Council Member Gillaspie to adjourn at 7:40 p.m.

MOTION carried, 7-0.