Huntsville as seen from Lion's Lookout (Photo taken by Martin Halek)
The Huntsville Town Council will vote on a “made in Huntsville” climate emergency resolution at the end of June.
Climate Action Muskoka presented the original resolution at the May 25th Regular Council meeting. Council voted to revisit the resolution on June 28th after changes have been made.
Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano says the Town is waiting to make sure the resolution is done right.
“What we want to put in it are goals we know we can achieve,” says Terziano. “We don’t want a resolution that just sits on a shelf and says ‘we did our job, we declared the emergency,’ we want to be able to formulate a plan of achievable goals.”
As is, the resolution would have Huntsville commit to lowering its emissions and pledge to create a climate action plan. The updated resolution will outline concrete actions the Town can take to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the proposed changes is to make the Town’s public works infrastructure more eco-friendly. Huntsville Councillor Brian Thompson says this comes with its own challenges.
“Part of this program, I’m sure, will be to convert some, if not a major proportion of those vehicles to electric vehicles,” Thompson says. “The amount of electricity that’s available at Madill Church Yard right now would not even begin to sufficiently service these vehicles, so a whole new electrical infrastructure would have to be in place as well.”
According to Thompson, Huntsville’s public works department is already in need of a rehaul.
“The building is antiquated and inadequate as it is right now, so it will be part of our ten-year plan to build a whole new building for the staff, and so on so forth, down at [Madill Church Works Yard],” Thompson says. “To implement any changes required for climate change, it would have to be part of the long-term plan.”
The resolution will be informed by a report from town staff, to be finished in June.
“How that will impact on climate change and going to electric vehicles is one thing I’m looking forward to in the report, which is why I say this really has to be a made in Huntsville solution,” Thompson says.