In 2018, Grove City adopted GroveCity2050, a strategic-planning plan designed to guide city officials as they address issues related to the community's future growth.

The city may soon take on another strategic-planning effort by focusing on environmental sustainability.

Councilman Ted Berry has created a resolution that would establish an environmental sustainability committee.

Ultimately the committee would be tasked with creating an energy/environmental sustainability plan that would be similar to the 2050 plan.

"That would be a good comparison of what this process would be," Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

Berry said he has consulted with Stage to develop the framework for the committee as proposed in the legislation.

"We want Grove City to be a leader in environmental sustainability in Ohio and the country, and the only way to do that is get our residents involved in creating the plan and its implementation," he said.

The committee's work would include, but not be limited to: adaptation to climate change; suburban natural ecosystems and biodiversity; city buildings and codes; baseline and measurements; transit and transportation; energy/renewable energy; waste reduction and recycling; land use planning; water; communications; green businesses; public and school outreach; natural resources; economic opportunity and development; and sustainable neighborhoods.

"The committee will be charged with creating a baseline of where are we now on all the focus areas, then set goals and a plan to achieve them," Berry said.

"It would be responsible not just for developing a set of goals, but also managing their implementation," he said.

The resolution states the committee would be an ongoing group that would submit an annual report with a review of recent accomplishments and a set of goals for the following year.

Establishing the environmental committee would demonstrate "we recognize as a city that our climate is changing and our government and residents need to take a part in creating an environmentally sustainable community," Berry said.

"This is something that we're very concerned about in Grove City," Stage said. "We created the Keep Grove City Beautiful committee and we were one of the first communities in Ohio to do that."

Creating a process to help set sustainability goals for the community "is the next logical step," he said.

The committee likely would include the city's environmental coordinator, five area residents and three local businesses with sustainable practices appointed by the mayor.

Berry, chairman of council's safety committee, would be an ex-officio member.

Last month, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission certified Grove City as a Sustainable2050 Gold community for its extensive effort to promote sustainability.

Sustainable2050 is a program that supports communities' sustainability efforts. Participating communities earn bronze, silver, gold and platinum designations based on the number of eligible activities carried out in five categories corresponding to MORPC's Regional Sustainability Agenda.

Grove City has completed 28 eligible activities across all five categories, achieving the gold designation.

MORPC cited the city's effort to provide public electric vehicle charging stations, adopting an idle-free policy and its EcoFest, an annual summer festival celebrating the community's commitment to public and environmental health and well-being as among its most prominent sustainability activities.

The city is committed to achieving platinum status by the middle of next year, Stage said.

"An environmental committee will help us achieve that goal," he said.

In January, a majority of council members voted against Berry's proposal to establish a grant program that would have helped residents pay to install electric-vehicle charging stations at their homes.

The grant program would have been funded with $25,000 from the city's general fund.

When the vote was taken, those opposed didn't question that the city should do more to promote environmental sustainability, but suggested there should be more discussion and consideration of what would be the best ways to accomplish those goals.

The resolution to create the environmental committee is a way to encourage that discussion and lead to real results, Berry said.

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