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Assembly set to tackle climate change

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007

Climate change and how to prepare for its effects at the local level will be a topic of discussion at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting Tuesday in Soldotna.

Resolution 2007-069, sponsored by Assembly President Ron Long of Seward and Assemblywoman Margaret Gilman of Kenai, would commit the borough to the task of developing a local climate change impact plan. The plan:

* Would require studying and assessing the borough's local vulnerability to climate change.

* Would set goals and targets for reducing those vulnerabilities. That would include goals based on a borough energy plan that prioritized cost savings and improvements in air quality.

* Would develop and implement an action plan.

* Would monitor efforts and would be re-evaluated when necessary.

* Would have Borough Mayor John Williams participate in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives' Climate Resilient Community grant program, and promote public awareness of the benefits of developing and implementing an action plan. According to the ICLEI's Web site, the council was founded in 1990 when more than 200 local governments from 43 countries convened for a conference at the United Nations in New York.

It is an international association of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development. Over 630 cities, towns, counties and their associations worldwide are now members.

Also on Tuesday's agenda are several public hearings, mostly on ordinances appropriating funds. They include:

* Ordinance 2007-19-22, appropriating $850,000 in interest income to help pay costs of capital improvements at South Peninsula Hospital.

* Ordinance 2007-19-23, appropriating $1.4 million in interest income to cover capital costs of improvements at Central Peninsula Hospital.

* Ordinance 2007-19-25, accepting $3.4 million from the state of Alaska for Keystone Drive road improvements and appropriating the grant to a Road Service Area capital project account.

* Ordinance 2007-19-26, revising the appropriation of $217,000 included in the FY 2008 School Revenue Capital Projects budget for portable classrooms to funding for areawide outbuildings.

Also up for a hearing is Ordinance 2007-33 (substitute), which would amend the borough code to require that developers of subdivisions build certain roads to borough standards before final plat approval. This would be the third of four hearings.

Hal Spence can be reached at hspence@ptialaska.net.



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