City Council joins climate network, establishes Civic Center subcommittee at Monday meeting

The council received a financial update on the pool project, seen here via the city's "pool cam" on April 18.

In a move that dovetails with many climate actions the city has already taken over the past few years, the City Council on Monday approved, on a 4-0 vote, Mayor Jen Cavenaugh joining the Climate Mayors Network, joining approximately 750 other U.S. mayors who have made public commitments to work toward ambitious climate goals. 

Councilwoman Conna McCarthy was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Established in 2014, the Climate Mayors Network is a bipartisan network of more than 750 mayors committed to local climate action leadership through legislative action, and to joining together to share information and otherwise further such goals. The group helps build political will for federal and global climate action, and its goals align with those outlined in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. 

The City of Piedmont has already reached several of the milestones the Climate Mayors Network endorses, most recently completing a community greenhouse gases inventory for 2020.

The City Council adopted the initial Piedmont Climate Action Plan in 2010, followed by CAP 2.0 in March 2018. The Council has also affirmed the city’s continued commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement in 2017. 

Measures outlined in the CAP 2.0, including commitments to reduce municipal vehicle fleet emissions, enhance and update the city’s climate action program outreach efforts and collecting information to track progress on the CAP, are consistent with Climate Mayors Network goals.

Alyssa Dykman, Piedmont’s sustainability program manager, said the timing for this move is appropriate, too, noting Earth Day is fast approaching (Saturday, April 22) and that April is Earth Month.

“In Piedmont, we celebrate Earth Day all year long,” she said.

 Pool bond oversight committee report

The Council on Monday received an annual report from the city’s Measure UU Bond Oversight Committee chairwoman, Patricia Leicher, with specific information on finances tied to the November 2020 voter-approved bond measure to raise money for the Piedmont Community Pool project.

The total community pool budget is $28,981,000. Measure UU bond proceeds deposited have been $24,418,577. Other funding sources for the pool include:

  • Contributions (including fundraising efforts) – $3,054,177
  • Loan/grant – $748,106
  • Facilities capital reserves – $460,140

As of Feb. 28, $2,993,972 in Measure UU money had been spent, leaving $21,724,605.

Civic Center area planning

The Council on Monday established an ad hoc subcommittee consisting of the Mayor and Councilmember Tom Ramsey to recommend action items to Council with reference to Piedmont facilities renovation needs. 

The Civic Center area is generally defined as being bordered by Highland Avenue, Hillside Avenue, Vista Avenue, and Magnolia Avenue. The city started preparation of a Civic Center Master Plan in 2008, but that ongoing work basically stopped with the COVID pandemic in early 2020.

Cavenaugh said that, at this point, “it isn’t clear what the path forward is” concerning how the Civic Center will be redeveloped.

Ramsey said it will be the committee’s six-month job to determine some potential recommendations for the City Council.

“I’m excited to get started,” he said.

Coastland Engineering agreements

Also on Monday, the Council approved spending up to $186,600 for a “supplemental agreement” with Coastland Civil Engineering for design work needed in conjunction with the city’s street paving work.

Public Works Director Daniel Gonzales said that work will include the rehabilitation of 27 pedestrian ramps (curb cutouts) and “enhanced crossings” with bulbouts, pedestrian crossing signs, and flashing yellow beacons at the intersections of Grand and Linda avenues and Grand and Greenbank avenues.

It is anticipated that the overall cost for the design will be paid for with $186,600 from Measure BB local road funds.

Piedmont’s planned 2023-2024 paving program is set to include parts of nine local streets — Dracena Avenue, Kingston Avenue, Blair Avenue, Hillside Avenue, El Cerrito Avenue, York Drive, San Carlos Avenue and two separate sections of Grand Avenue.

Coastland has designed improvements associated with Piedmont’s annual pavement restoration projects for more than a decade. Coastland has provided a proposal for the work associated with the above-mentioned projects, and city staff has found that proposal acceptable, Gonzales said.

Also on Monday night, the Council approved spending $259,250 for a separate agreement with Coastland for inspection services connected to the community pool project. Gonzales told the Council the inspections will be to ensure compliance with building and fire codes, that construction work is consistent with the project plans, and that safety standards and best practices are followed.

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One thought on “City Council joins climate network, establishes Civic Center subcommittee at Monday meeting

  1. Here are Piedmont’s fellow members and what they have accomplished.

    Great organization for networking and self-promotion but it seems mostly just a compendium of past actions with no initiatives. As the recent IPCC report notes ( much more strategic action is needed by cities to prevent the 1.5 C temperature increase by the end of the century. Most notable is the adoption of net zero emissions by 2050 and few if any cities in the network have done that.

    Piedmont could honor Earth Day and claim climate leadership were it to adopt the net zero goal in its CAP. That would take a Climate Council which as evidenced by the recent discussion of electrification is not there yet.

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