Tompkins County
New York

Resolution
2017-6

Establishing the Tompkins County Energy Task Force

Information

Department:Planning DepartmentSponsors:
Category:Environmental

Attachments

  1. PDEQ Memo on Energy Adv Board_kb_12-14-16v2

Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, Tompkins County has been actively working on energy and climate change issues since 2001 when it installed solar panels on the public library and began to track its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and develop action plans to reduce emissions, and

 

WHEREAS, the 2015 Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan set a principle that “Tompkins County should be a place where the energy system meets community needs without contributing additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere,” and

 

WHEREAS, the 2016 Tompkins County Energy Roadmap called for setting interim GHG emissions goals for 2020, 2025, 2030 and appropriate intervals thereafter, and tracking progress on achieving them, as well as evaluating progress in achieving the vision of the Roadmap, and

 

WHEREAS, the 2016 Tompkins County Energy and Economic Development Task Force Report called for implementing the recommendations and evaluating progress regularly, and

 

WHEREAS, in order to achieve these goals and evaluate progress, it is vital to obtain advice from experts in the fields of energy, renewables, climate science, economic development, transportation, business operation, and other sectors, who are up-to-date on local opportunities and concerns around energy, climate, and energy-related economic development issues, and

 

WHEREAS, there are many energy and climate-related programs and initiatives being led by the County and other groups in the community that may benefit from input and guidance from such a board, and

 

WHEREAS, the Energy Task Force will be tasked with providing input and guidance to the County Planning Department and the Legislature on the topics of energy, climate change, and energy-related economic development, and will be available to provide advice to other community groups on those topics, as requested, now therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development and Environmental Quality Committee, That a Tompkins County Energy Task Force be established with a three-year term of operation and consist of 15-20 members who will be appointed by the Legislature,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the membership shall include representatives from different segments of the community, such as:

Tompkins County Area Development

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce

Large-sized Business

Small-sized Business

Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Consultant or Contractor

Climate Change Expert

Tompkins County Council of Governments

City of Ithaca

Tompkins County

Transportation

Real Estate Development:  Developer, Architect, or Engineer

Local Organization Involved in Energy Issues

Local Organization Involved in Sustainability Issues

Local Organization Involved in Economic Issues

Local Organization Involved in Social Justice Issues

Energy Generation/Utility

Higher Education

 

SEQR ACTION: TYPE II-20

Meeting History

Dec 21, 2016 3:00 PM  Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. Borgella explained there is a need for a group of expert advisors to advise the Department and Legislature in regard to achieving the targets, goals, and recommendations within the Energy Roadmap and Energy and Economic Development Task Force Report. There are numerous activities taking place in the energy sphere and this group could assist in coordinating and making community groups more effective as well. The plan is to form an advisory board for a temporary period of three years. This will allow for an evaluation of the group and potentially extend it beyond that if there is a need.

Ms. Kelles asked if the new advisory board would be a part of the Environmental Management Council (EMC) or if it is a different group and how the two groups can be coordinated so they are not duplicating work.

Ms. Borgella distributed a list of potential membership of the Tompkins County Energy Advisory Board. She views this new advisory board as being made up of members with a more narrowed task than the EMC. Mr. Marx stated energy is not just an environmental issue but also an economic issue and this board would strictly be focused on energy-based decisions for a three-year period. This three-year period is a crucial period that needs specific focus on the energy component.

Ms. Kelles suggested there be collaborative efforts between the new advisory board and the EMC to ensure there is no overlapping. Ms. Borgella stated that could be done through the Planning Department since staff from the Office would be involved with both groups.

Ms. Kiefer suggested the board provide advice to the Planning Department and the Legislature but limit its work with community groups to availability but not advising them. She requested the Committee consider adding a statement similar to the one included in the explanatory memo.

Mr. Marx explained the potential membership reflects a hybridization of the Energy and Economic Development Task force and the Energy Roadmap Steering Committee participants. He stated there is a need to have all community stakeholder groups involved in order for this to be successful. The stakeholders are very broad in terms of public and private sectors when it comes to energy.

Ms. Chock suggested bylaws be developed and that staff work with the Legislature Office on setting this up for a period longer than three years. Mr. Marx stated there are plans to develop bylaws for this board so they can operate in an organized and defined manner.

Following discussion, it was MOVED by Mr. McKenna, seconded by Ms. Kelles, and unanimously adopted by voice vote to amend the resolution and add the following Resolved:

RESOLVED, further, That the membership shall include representatives from the following segments of the community, such as:

Tompkins County Area Development

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce

Large-sized Business

Small-sized Business

Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Consultant or Contractor

Climate Change Expert

Tompkins County Council of Governments

City of Ithaca

Tompkins County

Transportation

Real Estate Development: Developer, Architect, or Engineer

Local Organization Involved in Energy Issues

Local Organization Involved in Sustainability Issues

Local Organization Involved in Economic Issues

Local Organization Involved in Social Justice Issues

Energy Generation/Utility

Higher Education

Ms. Kiefer spoke of basic problems with the advisory board application form and she would like to see the form redeveloped. Ms. Robertson stated that should be done through the Government Operations Committee and suggested Ms. Kiefer speak with staff regarding that.

Ms. Chock asked what the group would be tasked with, who will define the work to be done, or would they define their own work. Ms. Borgella explained this board will function similar to other advisory boards and work close with staff.

The Committee agreed to have Ms. Borgella write an additional whereas statement similar to the statement in the memorandum attached to include in the resolution.

RESULT:RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Anna Kelles, Member
SECONDER:David McKenna, Member
AYES:Martha Robertson, Dooley Kiefer, Michael Sigler, David McKenna, James Dennis, Carol Chock, Anna Kelles
Jan 3, 2017 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

The following two suggestions for the resolution were accepted as friendly: changing the words “the following” to “different” in the last Resolved and changing the name of the board from “Energy Advisory Board” to “Energy Task Force”.

At this time, Mr. Marx explained the purpose of the task force and spoke about the number of recommendations made in reports done recently around energy and said it will be important to have community engagement when going through processes.

It was MOVED by Ms. Kiefer, seconded by Ms. Kelles, and unanimously adopted by voice vote, to approve the following amendment to the last Resolved:

Separate the statement “Local Organization Involved in Energy, Sustainability, Economic, and/or Social Justice Issues (2)” into four separate statements in the list of membership as follows:

“Local Organization Involved in Energy Issues

Local Organization Involved in Sustainability Issues

Local Organization Involved in Economic Issues

Local Organization Involved in Social Justice Issues”.

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Martha Robertson, Member
SECONDER:David McKenna, Member
AYES:Will Burbank, Carol Chock, James Dennis, Rich John, Anna Kelles, Dooley Kiefer, Daniel Klein, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Martha Robertson, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Michael Sigler, Peter Stein