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Tonight: Atherton council discusses role of environmental committee

Just what the job of Atherton's Environmental Programs Committee should be, and how much the town is willing to pay to put the committee's programs into action, will be the main topic of discussion when Atherton's City Council meets Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. in the town's council chambers at 94 Ashfield Road.

The meeting is replacing the council's monthly study session, usually held on the first Wednesday of the month. Also on the agenda is a brainstorming session on how the council can best communicate with the public.

The Environmental Programs Committee has proposed three main projects: a climate action plan to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced by the town, a home energy and water-use reduction program, and an annual Earth Day event.

The climate action plan will not be on the table on Wednesday because the council has asked a consultant to come back with more information on the committee's proposal, including the costs of the plan, both to the town to regulate and the homeowner to implement.

But the council will consider the committee's request to resurrect a program called Atherton 2020 that would help Atherton residents reduce water and energy use by providing home energy audits and online tools and information. The project is projected to cost $9,000 for the energy audits and $10,000 to $20,000 for the website.

The committee is also asking for permission to start planning for an Earth Day event on April 22.

Members of the environmental committee are Valerie Gardner, Holly Joseph, Janet Larson, Frank Merrill and Jasenka Rakas. Mayor Elizabeth Lewis is the council liaison to the committee.

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