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Village of Lagrange Environmental Quality Commission met April 11

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | May 16, 2019


Village of Lagrange Environmental Quality Commission met April 11.

Here is the minutes provided by the commission:

1. CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

A meeting of the Environmental Quality Commission of the Village of La Grange was held on Thursday, April 11,2019, at the Village Hall and was called to order by Commission Chair David McCarty at 7:05 p.m.

9 of l0 members constitutes a quorum.

ALSO PRESENT: Bruce Whiteway, La Grange resident

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion was made by Commissioner Gertsmeier, seconded by Commissioner Davies to approve the minutes from March 14,2019.

The minutes were unanimously approved by voice vote.

3. BUSINESS AT HAND

A. Report, Commission Chair McCarty regarding E.Q.C. open positions & chair position - Village President Livingston is working to fill the 5 vacant positions on the Commission. New members are expected to be in place for the May meeting. In conjunction with that and on the approximate same schedule Commission Chair McCarty will resign and Commission Vice Chair Naseef will be appointed as the new Commission Chair. Until the appointments are complete and approved by the Village Board Commission Chair McCarty will remain.

B. Discussion led by Commissioner Gertsmeier regarding short-term projects and goals - Commissioner Gertsmeier has identified several possibilities for projects. These are generally small in scale & scope. The goal is to increase resident participation and awareness in how little things can make a difference. Many will also leverage off events or programs of local groups.

Some short-term possibilities for cooperation and co-sponsorship include:

. The Western Springs Styrofoam recycling project

' The Brookfield Zoo recycling event

Opportunities for cooperation and information exchange:

, Adjacent communities' environmental commissions

. Environmental or green living components oflocal church and school groups.

  Commissioner Bryant offered to begin compiling a list of local groups.

' Programs like SolSmart and Greenest Region Compact

Possible initiatives for the La Grange E.Q.C.

Work in cooperation with the La Grange Garden Club to recognize environmentally friendly yards or gardens. Perhaps one per quarter recognizing different aspects of a green landscape. Things like rain gardens, native species, draught resistant and no-water gardens, etc. The E.Q.C. could work with the Garden Club to highlight one home each quarter and post it on the Village web site. Commissioner Gertsmeier will contact the Garden Club to discuss the opportunity.

. Similar to the gardens concept, work with the Economic Development Department, local architects, and local home builders to recognize green home improvements, designs or energy saving living concepts. These would also be highlighted on the Village web site. 

. Develop periodic challenges or contests to promote a specific green concept. Some ideas offered included:

o earth-friendly ways to stay cool in the summer

o leave the car home week/week end/ month

o walk to work/school week

o lights out hours/days

The Westem Springs Styrofoam recycling project The Brookfield Zoo recycling event

Adjacent communities' environmental commissions

Environmental or green living components oflocal church and school groups. Commissioner Bryant offered to begin compiling a list of local groups. Programs like SolSmart and Greenest Region Compact

Similar to the gardens concept, work with the Economic Development Department, local architects, and local home builders to recognize green home improvements, designs or energy saving living concepts. These would also be highlighted on the Village web site.

Develop periodic challenges or contests to promote a specific green concept. Some ideas offered included:

o earth-friendly ways to stay cool in the summer

o leave the car home week/week end/ month 

o walk to work/school week

o lights out hours/days

. Work with the Park District of La Grange to promote a green walking club or a "Plogging" club. Walking or jogging with a bag to collect litter along the way. A weekly group outing could focus on a park or area of the Village. Could include a social component such as meeting at a restaurant before or after the event. 

. Update the Village web site on how and where to recycle various items. Provide information regarding re-use options over disposal or recycle. Link to more broadly scoped organizations like Earth9l I .com and SCARCE. Bruce Whiteway offered to begin to collect that information. 

. Hosting a viewing ofan eco-film in partnership with the theater, high school, library or church.

C. Discussion led by Commission Chair McCarty regarding E.Q.C. work flow and management - As the Commission vacancies are filled it is time to evaluate our process and distribution of work. Tracking and marshalling the various projects is critical to on-going progress. Two important aspects are managing the projects and communicating with residents.

Commissioner Davies offered to manage the work flow. She will start with the project management work sheet developed in 2018.

Commissioners Braun and Christianson will share the duties of communicating with the staff to have the E.Q.C. web site information updated. They witl contact Village Manager Peterson to determine best practices and procedures.

D. Discussion EQC Annual Report to the Board of Trustees - Tabled

4. OLD BUSINESS

A. Repo(, Commission Chair McCarty regarding SolSmart - The Village has been notified that it has qualified for the Bronze level designation. A Village staff person will attend the SolSmart presentation with the cohort of communities that have qualified together this year. At the May 13 meeting of the Board of Trustees the designation will be presented to the Board and the E.Q.C. will be recognized for their effort in the process. This is also the meeting where all board and commission volunteers are recognized, and refreshments are served. All commissioners are encouraged to attend.

5. NEW BUSINESS

A. Commissioner Chair Sheldon presented a concept and format for communicating with the Village President -J-B;;; ;i Trustees' He has prepared a draft form of a proclamation regarding various items the Village can address to make our zoning and building code more friendly to photo voltaic energy capture' Specifically' solar panels on residences.

There was a general discussion and a strong consensus that this presented a good way for the E Q.C. to communicate more fully considered concepts and ideas to the Board for consideration and possible action. Commission Chair McCarty suggested the essential content could be retained and the format presented as an E. Q. C. Report to the Board. The format for that would be the same as a Staff Report to the board. Like a Staff Report it should include clear recommendations and clearly express the preferences of the E.Q.C. 

Commissioner Sheldon will reformat the solar Proclamation and an E.Q.C. Report to the Board on Recommended Village Actions on Private solar Panels. Review and consideration of the report wilt be placed on the May E.Q.C. agenda.

NEXT MEETING

May 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Davies moved for adjournment, second by Commissioner Sheldon. Motion carried by a unanimous voice vote The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p m'

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