The city may form a task force aimed at reducing its energy use.
“The skyrocketing cost of fuel leaves us no choice but to look for alternatives to spending more and more money for less and less energy,” said city Councilor Craig Minor.
City councilors have unanimously agreed to have Bristol join a widespread movement by municipalities to search out new sources of energy and to reduce pollutants that contribute to global warming.
Mayor Art Ward said that he’s been contacting experts and beginning to take steps to carry out the council’s wishes.
“We’re on the road to it,” Ward said.
The council backed Minor’s call to create a task force with “a wide range of views, including the business sector and municipal land use boards” as well as those “with legal or technical expertise in energy consumption.”
Minor said the panel should review suggested actions in the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to determine which have “the best potential to reduce the cost of energy spending by the city and reduce the amount of global warming pollution produced by the city.”
The programs, he said, would “provide both economic and quality of life benefits” that include energy savings, open space preservation, better air quality, reduced traffic congestion, more transportation choices and economic development and job creation through conservation and new technology.
There are a number of avenues that city leaders have promised to explore.
Among them is upping the fuel efficiency of municipal vehicles and reducing their number.
The city is also looking bio-diesel fuel for its diesel trucks.
It is seeking to “make energy efficiency a priority through building code improvements, retrofitting city facilities” with better lighting and encouraging employees to find ways to save energy.
It hopes, too, to “increase the use of clean, alternative energy.”
The city is also investigating ways to adopt and enforce land use policies “that reduce sprawl, preserve open space and create compact, walkable neighborhoods.”
Also on the agenda are more transportation options, including possible bicycle trails, car pooling incentives, public transit initiatives and programs to reduce commuter trips.
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