Penny: Frisco’s environmental sustainability plan | SummitDaily.com

Penny: Frisco’s environmental sustainability plan

by Michael PennyFrisco Town Manager

Adopted by Frisco Town Council in the spring of 2009, the CleanTracks Action Plan, Frisco’s green initiative, reaffirms Frisco’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Taking direction from the town council’s signing of the US Mayor’s Climate Action Agreement and subsequent community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory data (Frisco’s emissions basically are comprised of buildings and vehicles), the plan sets forth the town and community’s goals for reducing Frisco’s greenhouse gas emissions: a 5 percent reduction by 2012, a 20 percent reduction by 2020, and an 80 percent reduction by 2050. The CleanTracks plan also sets forth energy reduction goals, a $5 million reduction in energy costs by 2012, and a $75 million reduction in energy costs by 2020 to 2050.So what are some of the environmental sustainability steps the town government has taken this year? The town facilities are 100 percent powered by wind energy, through purchase of renewable energy credits from Renewable Choice. This commitment is similar to planting 4,604 mature trees and not driving 1,141,694 miles.The town contracted with an energy services company to perform a comprehensive energy audit of all town-owned buildings. Several energy upgrades stemming from the energy audit have been completed this year. Lighting upgrades in all town-owned buildings have resulted in more energy-efficient lights (replacing older lighting with T8 bulbs), fewer light bulbs needed, and the installation of occupancy sensors, which turn out the lights automatically when there’s no activity in a room for a specified amount of time.New high-efficiency boilers have been installed at town hall, the Historic Park’s Museum Building, the public works building, Old Town Hall, and the Community Center on 3rd Avenue. On average these boilers are 96 percent efficient, and replace older, less-efficient models. A new two-panel solar hot water system has been installed at town hall, which will provide the building’s heat and hot water. This fall, shades will be installed in the atrium at town hall, to help control the temperature and save energy. Energy-saving insulation is being installed at the public works wash bay, which will help insulate the concrete walls.The town’s water department is installing new equipment that will allow staff to monitor and control all of the town’s water systems via laptop instead of having to drive to each location to check the status; increasing efficiency and saving gas.The 2009 energy upgrades build on environmental sustainability measures the town has already implemented, including: a program (“Got Gas”) to reward employees who take alternative transportation to and from work; hybrid vehicles and energy efficient vehicle purchases for the town’s fleet; bio-diesel- powered town snowplow trucks and heavy equipment; town bicycles for employees to use within town; commitment to purchasing recycled paper; composting of employee’s food and town park wastes; and, bi-monthly council packets on computer discs instead of paper. Projects and programs provided by the town to encourage energy savings to the community this year have included: plan review fee rebates for new construction projects that have exceeded the sustainable building code requirements or for new construction projects that have obtained LEED or Green Globes certification; plan review fee rebates for construction projects that install more energy efficient products including insulation, boilers/furnaces and windows; and, the town partnered with the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office to offer a rebate program for residential and commercial installation of solar hot water systems. The town has implemented zero waste at most of the town special events. This year, Frisco partnered with Summit County, Dillon, and Keystone to create a uniform look for zero waste stations to help educate the community on how to dispose of waste at events around the county. At Beetlefest, for example, 69 percent of waste was diverted from the landfill trash and either recycled or composted. Combined, these steps help the town and community save money in the long-run, be more energy efficient and cut down the carbon footprint. The Town of Frisco continues to strive for ways to maintain itself as a healthy and sustainable community environmentally, economically and socially.This article is part of a new Town of Frisco campaign called “Sustainable Frisco: Get to Know Your Town.” Please look for more informational articles in the coming months. Reach town manager Michael Penny at michaelp@townoffrisco.com.