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Posted on: June 9, 2017

City Response to Climate Change Concerns

FROM:             City of Mount Vernon Mayor & City Council

DATE:              June 8, 2017

RE:                   City Response to Climate Change Concerns


PURPOSE

The intent of this memo is to provide an answer to the question, “How is the City of Mount Vernon responsibly and effectively addressing important environmental issues with tax-payer dollars?”

SUMMARY

The City of Mount Vernon will continue to make environmentally responsible decisions with its entrusted resources—as it has in recent years—until directed by policy change of the City Council.  The topic of environmental protection should be a unifying one, as it impacts all of us. However, the City recognizes that this has become a political and potentially divisive subject. 

DISCUSSION

In recent years, the City of Mount Vernon has made consistent efforts to implement improvements to its services and infrastructure that will complement global efforts toward environmental responsibility and effects of climate change.  Some examples of these improvements include:

  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades
    • Installation of a biosolids screwpress
      • Reduces volume of biosolids
      • Produces a cleaner end product
      • Reduces fuel consumption and traffic impact
      • Re-use of waste for cleaner agricultural uses
    • High-efficiency blower system
      • Cuts energy consumption
    • Upgraded treatment process that puts water back into the Skagit River that is cleaner (by all standards) than water upstream
    • Transitioned to sustainable odor control process using wood chips instead of chemical treatment
    • System of capturing and redirecting methane gas to power HVAC for plant
  • Full City LED conversion completed in 2016 – including streetlights and internal operations
  • Solar Panel Project on City Hall creates energy back to electrical grid
  • Parks policy to protect trees—“no net loss of trees in City limits”
  • Solid Waste—City-wide recycling and composting service availability
  • Flood Protection Project—built 4 feet above 100-year flood projection, incorporating  low-impact environmentally-friendly public plaza and bio-swales
  • Complete Streets policy goal acknowledging non-motorized transportation planning and implementation
  • Fuel consumption optimization for City vehicle fleet
  • Research, analysis and report to City Council regarding transition of City fleet to alternative fuels or electric vehicles
  • Recycle asphalt for use in road system
  • Low impact development regulation implementation – storm water run-off regulations
  • Adopted City energy efficiency plan
  • Emergency Management Planning – addresses increased severe weather preparedness, earthquake, volcanic activity, flood, etc.

DETERMINATION

The City of Mount Vernon will continue to make responsible decisions that take into account the needs of our local, national and global climate; for today’s residents of Mount Vernon, and for future generations who will call this beautiful area their home.

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