Council Update: September 9th 2019

Monday’s meeting included several unanimously passed resolutions. We approved the Mayor’s appointment of a new Assistant City Attorney, we heard an update from Superintendent Obeng, we updated an ordinance related to building permit fees, we updated regulation of garbage, trash, abandoned vehicles, appliances and furniture on private property, and we asked the Dept. of Parks & Rec for a report on expanding tree plantings. We passed a resolution 10-1 to move plans forward for redesigning the Shelburne Street Roundabout.

What I’d like to focus on is an update and presentation from Burlington Electric Department (BED) on their Net Zero Energy Roadmap. This is a set of strategies to move Burlington off of fossil fuels by 2030 — one of the most ambitious goals in the country. To get there, according to the roadmap, we will need to weatherize and electrify our buildings, create a district heating system for large buildings, electrify automobiles, and increase alternative transportation.

To help us get there BED announced new incentives on electric heat pumps, pre-owned electric vehicles (EVs), EV charge stations and reduced charging rates, and more — on top of existing incentives they offer. They also made it clear that the incentives alone will not get us there, even as those incentives grow moving forward. We need strong policy and regulation, and we need residents of Burlington stepping up and getting involved to drive these massive changes forward.

I’m working on several policies to help move this forward, which I will provide more info on soon. Please reach out to me if you want to get involved.

As Hurricane Dorian reminds us, It’s imperative that we get off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible, and it’s going to take all of us to get there. I’m excited to work with you all make it happen.

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