DOWNEY - Conceived initially by Downey Mayor Mario Guerra, the City of Downey Green Task Force has been meeting monthly since its inception last May.During its one year commission, as mandated by City Council, the task force's objective is to recommend to the council ways in which the city can move towards becoming a more sustainable community. Topics of research and discussion have included water conservation and related city ordinances, permit fees for environmentally friendly building projects, as well as community education on sustainable practices. To date, the Green Task Force has put forward a series of sometimes multi-topical recommendations to City Council, beginning with a recommendation to lower the cost of permits for solar installation. In this instance City Council was already discussing the possibility of lowering solar fees and ultimately approved a reduction to $200 for single family residences-down from $1,162. In addition, the Task Force has recommended that the council provide for a Downey Green page on the city's website, which is currently being updated. Also recommended has been participation in a high efficiency toilet distribution program for multi-family dwellings, in partnership with the Central Basin Municipal Water District, as well as two drought tolerant gardening workshops. Most recently, the Green Task Force has encouraged City Council support of a pilot student education program within the Downey Unified School District teaching the environmental advantages of reusable grocery bags. Council considered and authorized their support of this program in conjunction with the third Los Angeles countywide "A Day Without a Bag" celebration, sponsored by Heal the Bay, which will take place this year on Dec. 17. City Council has thus far approved all Green Task Force recommendations. The task force will continue meeting through April 2010, with more far-reaching recommendations under consideration. Meetings are the first Tuesday of the month at noon, and have been taking place at the Cormack Room of the Downey City Library. The public is invited. Information from the Green Task Force was used in this report.
********** Published: November 20, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 31