Allentown council will create Green Team to study sustainability issues


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ALLENTOWN – The Borough Council was expected to take action at its meeting on Dec. 11 to adopt an ordinance establishing a Green Team Advisory Committee.

The advisory committee, which is generally referred to as the Green Team, will study and advise borough officials on issues of environmental and energy sustainability and meeting the goals of the Sustainable Jersey program.

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On its website, Sustainable Jersey is described as “a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. By supporting community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental equity, Sustainable Jersey is empowering communities to build a better world for future generations.”

According to the ordinance that was introduced on Nov. 27, the Green Team will consist of 11 members, all of whom must be either a resident of the borough, the owner or operator of a business in Allentown, or an employee, official or contractor of the borough.

The Green Team will include one member of Allentown’s governing body, two members of the Environmental Commission, one member of the Economic Development Commission, one member of the Shade Tree Commission, the borough clerk, the borough recycling coordinator and four at-large members, according to the ordinance.

All of the members will be appointed for a one-year term.

According to the ordinance, the Green Team will have the following powers and duties:

• Advise the borough on ways to promote sustainable practices by improving municipal operations with economically and environmentally sound initiatives through research and evaluation;

• Engage all stakeholders in efforts to create a sustainable community, and assess and document sustainable practices currently employed by the borough;

• Assess and document areas where additional sustainable practices may be implemented by the borough;

• Collaborate with borough employees, service providers, other governmental agencies and neighboring communities to share resource information and ideas consistent with the Sustainable Jersey program;

• Solicit ideas for improving sustainable practices in the borough from all members of the community;

• Examine the environmental and financial effects of proposed sustainability initiatives;

• Communicate sustainable practices and goals to the public.

Voting to introduce the ordinance on Nov. 27 were council President Thomas Fritts, Councilman John A. Elder III, Councilman Rob Schmitt and Councilman Robert Strovinsky. Councilwoman Angela Anthony and Councilwoman Johnna Stinemire were absent.

In other business, Borough Attorney Greg Cannon reported that municipal officials and representatives of the Allentown Police Department are continuing negotiations on a new contract. The negotiations have been ongoing for about one year.

Cannon said Allentown’s chief financial officer is working up numbers as part of the negotiations process, but he said the CFO does not believe the borough can afford all of the issues that are being discussed by the two sides.

And, Schmitt said a project to replace outdated water meters in Allentown will not be completed as planned by the end of 2018. He said the project has been put off until the second quarter of 2019 and will be completed within budget.

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