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Whitefish Will Host Open House To Develop A Climate Action Plan

The Whitefish Climate Action Planning Committee started meeting this past January to draft a set of cost-saving and energy use goals and strategies for the city, local schools and the community.
Whitefish Climate Action Planning Committee
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The Whitefish Climate Action Planning Committee started meeting this past January to draft a set of cost-saving and energy use goals and strategies for the city, local schools and the community.

Even before President Trump opted out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the city of Whitefish was developing its own climate action plan. The Whitefish Climate Action Planning Committee started meeting this past January to draft a set of cost-saving and energy use goals and strategies for the city, local schools and the community. They’re holding an open house to answer questions and hear what local residents think is important.

Rachel Sussman is the city’s sustainability coordinator. She says the eventual draft plan, which the committee hopes to finish this August, goes beyond climate considerations.

"There's a financial component that's always present when you're talking about energy and energy use," says Sussman. "There's also a public health component. if you have healthy buildings, people that work in them are healthier."

The plan will address nine areas, including transportation, water conservation, and energy use, and set goals and recommendations for improving efficiency and cutting costs. Those goals will be based on an energy audit Sussman conducted last year. The Committee is looking to cities like Missoula, Helena, Bozeman and Red Lodge, which have adopted similar plans.

Sussman says some of the goals could be as simple as resealing windows to cut down on heating bills, or as complicated as finding green sources of energy for the city’s water treatment plan. The open house will give local residents a chance to weigh in on what they think the plan should cover.

"There're so many ways in which this benefits everybody, to have as many people involved as possible and to make this as robust a plan as possible," Sussman says.

Tomorrow’s open house will run from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the new Whitefish City Hall building on the corner of Second Street and Baker Avenue. The committee chairman will deliver a brief overview about the committee at 7 PM.

You can read the full assessment online.

Below is the agenda for tomorrow's open house: 

5:00 PM - Welcome and Purpose; Introductions; Plan Process  

5:30  PM - Overview of Housing Needs

5:40 PM - Introduction of Housing Strategies

6:00 PM - Feedback on Housing Strategies

6:30 PM - Break

6:40 PM - Priorities for Whitefish

6:50 PM - Wrap Up
 

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