Sustainable Communities Network Quarterly Meeting Minutes – December 2016

December 1st Meeting Notes of Sustainable Communities Network

Meeting was held at the City of Oshkosh in Oshkosh and Elizabeth Williams chaired the meeting.

Attendees were: Kathy Thunes, Jeanine Knapp, Elizabeth Williams, John Conrad, Roger Kanitz, Jan Scalpone, Margy Davey, Carol Kasimor, Allen Davis, Steve Barney, and Lurton Blassingame

September 1st meeting notes were reviewed and approved. These are posted on our website.

Presentation – Wisconsin PACE Program

Jon Hochkammer and Jason Stringer presented on the Wisconsin PACE Program which is a state program developed to assist local businesses with financing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation. The program is enabled by state legislation (Section 66.0627). PACE Program ordinance must be adopted at the County-level to enable businesses at the local level to tap into program funding assistance.

Actions: Members agreed to advocate at the local level to encourage County adoption of Wisconsin PACE Program. Additional discussions could take place at future meetings to attempt to coordinate advocacy across the SCN region.

Recycling in Public Parks

Jeanine reminded members that a summary document was prepared to summarize existing efforts being taken and suggested strategies that could be explored relating to improving recycling in community parks. The summary document was shared via email to all SCN members.

Regional Urban Beekeeping Efforts

Representatives from the City of Neenah and City of Oshkosh both discussed their effort to develop and seek approval of a local urban beekeeping ordinance. Members discussed the components of each draft ordinance. The City of Neenah and Oshkosh decided to continue collaboration as they move forward on their proposed urban beekeeping ordinances. A copy of the proposed Oshkosh Urban Beekeeping Ordinance was sent via email to SCN members.  The City of Neenah currently allows Mason Bee’s in the City.  The City is looking at allowing honey bees as well, this would apply to commercial areas as well.

ECOS Website

Members discussed continuation of the ECOS-Fox Valley website and whether the page should be maintained moving forward. It was agreed that the website should continue to be utilized to track efforts of the Sustainable Communities Network. It was suggested that the name of the website be updated to reflect the name of the network. Roger Kanitz agreed to follow up with the webmaster to find out if the name of the website could be updated. Roger Kanitz also mentioned that the fee to maintain the website will be distributed to member communities in the near future.   Currently the website costs $50/community to maintain.  Shane, who has been maintaining the website will be sending a bill to communities.

Continuation of SCN in 2017

Members decided quarterly meetings would continue to take place in 2017, per the following:

March 2nd @ 3:00 p.m. –Oshkosh to host (Liz)

June 1st @ 3:00 p.m.  – Greenville to host (John)

September 7th @ 3:00 p.m. – Menasha to host (Kathy)

December 7th @ 3:00 p.m. – Neenah to host (Carol)

Kathy Thunes and Jeanine Knapp offered to maintain the email contact list for SCN.


Community Sharing

Greenville:  The Town sponsored a “Design Your Bike Rack” this past year, it went over very well and they had some creative ideas.  The Town will drop off mulch (1 to 3 yards) to anyone in the Town that needs it.  Next year the Town is planning on a “Paint the Rain Barrel contest”.  The school district has a garden at each school and incorporates produce into school meals.

City of Menasha: The City’s Sustainability Committee had not met in a few months but were hoping to schedule a meeting in the near future.

City of Neenah: Neenah is working on drafting an urban beekeeping ordinance and working with ECWRPC on a greenhouse gas study.

City of Oshkosh: Oshkosh is working on multiple sustainability projects including a collaboration with UW-Oshkosh Environmental Studies Program students to identify strategies that could be incorporated into a Climate Action Plan. The Sustainability Advisory Board will be making a recommendation to the Common Council on December 5th regarding urban beekeeping.

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