2017-18 Budget: Sustainability

In her proposed 2018 fiscal year budget, Mayor Jackie Biskupski continues to press for cleaner air and other practical approaches to addressing climate change.

Last summer, the Mayor and City Council adopted a historic resolution to completely transition Salt Lake City’s energy needs to renewables by 2032 and to reduce carbon output by 80 percent by 2040.

The Mayor wants to keep the momentum going toward greater sustainability citywide.

First up: Initial steps will be taken in partnering with Rocky Mountain Power in establishing a large solar farm for cleaner City energy. This goal is part of a robust franchise agreement the City inked with RMP last year that requires cooperation in evaluating and implementing multiple projects to help the City achieve its clean energy targets.

The budget earmarks $100,000 from the City-County Landfill distribution fund to help cover costs of engineering, permitting, and financial analysis to begin the process of siting the farm.

The City’s timeline for the partnership with Rocky Mountain Power starts with working through regulatory requirements and permitting through the rest of this year.

The solar farm project will be put out to bid in mid-2018, and together, the City and Rocky Mountain Power will be able to determine the size and location of the farm.

“It’s very exciting to propose funding for the beginning steps of our first-ever solar farm with our partner Rocky Mountain Power,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Cities can play a major part in addressing climate change in our country. We are proving that with these bold initiatives.”

The sustainability budget section also proposes $200,000 for an initiative to support low-income households in gaining greater access to energy efficiency technology.

“We know that energy efficient homes and businesses enjoy lower utility costs while also contributing to a more sustainable environment,” the Mayor said. “But we also know for too many families, the initial costs of adding solar or other energy upgrades are simply out of financial reach.”

The cost of the program would also come from the landfill distribution fund, and would support a pilot program providing cost breaks in energy efficiency technology for low-income households.

The proposed program underscores the importance of making sustainable energy goals achievable for everyone – because everyone can play a part in reducing pollution and turning around the effects of climate change.

Just last month, Mayor Biskupski announced her co-leadership with three other U.S. mayors on the nationwide initiative “Mayors for 100% Clean Energy,” which emphasizes the power municipalities have to change the game toward a more sustainable environment.

To read Mayor Biskupski’s full budget presentation speech, please visit: https://slcmayorblog.com/

To read the entire FY 2017-18 recommended budget, please visit: http://www.slcgov.com/budget

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