The Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved a resolution Tuesday authorizing the City of Sturgeon Bay to become a Green Tier Legacy Community (GTLC).
City officials decided a few years ago not to join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) voluntary program for developing and implementing environmental sustainability measures, determining at that time there wasn’t enough benefit in doing so.
But with upgrades now planned at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, the possibility of receiving 10% principal forgiveness in borrowing money through the Clean Water Fund and Safe Drinking Water loan programs made becoming a Green Tier member more appealing.
The resolution states the city will benefit from partnering with the program “by receiving positive recognition, gaining access to a DNR staff liaison and their resource team, receiving preference on certain grants and streamlining certain Department of Natural Resources transactions.”
By adopting the resolution, the city, through Sturgeon Bay Utilities (SBU), “will be participating in quarterly meetings, networks and share information with our public and communities in the program, develop a baseline assessment of practices and provide an annual report noting the progress on our goals, and sustainability plans.”
The County of Door is now a Green Tier program member, as are five municipalities in northern Door County: the villages of Sister Bay, Ephraim and Egg Harbor; and the towns of Liberty Grove and Gibraltar.
SBU general manager Jim Stawicki said he is “not aware of any exceptional efforts required to participate in this program that would require a commitment of resources beyond those already in place at SBU and at the city.”
“Sturgeon Bay is already working towards a more sustainable future,” he said. “There is also a well-established network of GTLC in Door County.”
The resolution lists nine goals of the program:
•Assist and recognize local units of government in achieving superior environmental performance in their sustainability effort and goals relating to environmental practices, economic development and social commitments.
•Improve the quality of life and economic vitality of communities.
•Help local units of government and the DNR address wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, wetlands and other water issues in a holistic, watershed-based manner.
•Assist local units of government in preparing, implementing, and improving an overall watershed plan(s) that integrates the municipality’s full range of water resources issues.
•Assist local units of government in preparing, implementing and improving over time a sustainability plan that reduces a local unit of government’s impact on the environment.
•Facilitate access to state and federal funding for projects and activities related to achieving the purposes of this charter, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions, comprehensive planning, transportation policies, and integrated planning for wastewater treatment, storm water treatment and management; and drinking water.
•Realize taxpayer savings through reduced municipal expenditures on motor vehicle fuels and energy resulting from efficient development patterns.
•Help local units of government comply with various water regulations in a more efficient, cost-effective and flexible manner.
•Achieve other demonstrable and measurable environmental improvements beyond what is required by local, state, or federal law.