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Friday, January 30, 2009

La Crosse city, county officials announce eco-plan

From an article by Samantha Marcus in the La Crosse Tribune:

City and county officials unveiled on Thursday an ambitious plan aimed at improving the La Crosse area’s environmental sustainability.

The strategic plan calls for major reductions in energy consumption and shifts to renewable energy sources and is scheduled to hit the La Crosse Common Council floor Feb. 12 and the La Crosse County Board on Feb. 19.

“It’s for the good of the community, so I do hope everyone will be behind it,” said council member and mayoral candidate Dorothy Lenard, who sits on the joint Oversight Committee on Sustainability.

City Senior Planner Tim Kabat said Thursday this collaborative plan is unique in Wisconsin.

The city portion of the 67-page draft outlines targets for increasing the purchase of “environmentally preferred products” and services by 50 percent, cutting city hall’s paper consumption by 10 percent each year starting this year, reducing nonrecyclable waste by 25 percent and increasing the amount recycled by 25 percent.

The plan also recommends improving community transportation by reducing public transit trip times and starting a community car-sharing program.

Two of the more immediate priorities are recycling plastics within six months to a year and hiring a sustainability coordinator, said Jai Johnson, committee chairwoman, council member and county board supervisor.

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