Letter: Town’s Climate Action Plan Should Inform FY23 Budget

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The following letter was sent to the Amherst Town Council on May 24, 2022.

We write on behalf of the undersigned groups to recommend that your FY 23 budget process be informed by the 2021 Energy and Climate Action Committee Annual Report and Funding Request that you received in February.

It is helpful that the report includes the specific items in the Climate Action Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CAARP) that are projected to reduce the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025. It is also important that the report underlines the importance of liaising with diverse constituencies in the community as we take climate action.

We are concerned that 2025 is only three years away now and time is ticking away. We see other communities accelerating their action and request that Amherst do the same. 

We request that you approve a FY 23 budget that will:

We request that you approve a FY 23 budget that will:

  • Be transparent and specific about how FY 23 budget funds are allocated to meet the town goal of 25% emissions reduction by 2025 by implementing actions listed in the CAARP;
  • Provide funds to enable purchase or lease of all vehicles including school buses during FY 23 to be fully electric vehicles (excepting AFD and DPW vehicles if electric or hybrid vehicles are not yet available);
  • Use ARPA sustainability funds to meet the town goal of 25% emissions reduction by 2025 by implementing actions listed in the CAARP;
  • Fund a new department level Director to implement the CAARP, to supplement the work of existing staff. It is essential that this is an additional position to assist the town in confronting the climate crisis;
  • Fund the Shade Tree Committee line item for trees;
  • Include funds, if needed, for a town-contracted system of universal curbside compost pickup.

The Amherst Climate Alliance:

Climate Action Now
Mothers Out Front, Amherst
Sunrise Movement, Amherst
Local Energy Advocates of Western MA
Zero Waste Amherst

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