Peterborough residents can donate funds toward city environmental projects
In 2016, the city adopted a climate change action plan to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent.
Now, during recent budget discussions, city council has voted to allow residents to donate money in direct support of the city’s plan, as opposed to putting tax money toward it.
There are several federal climate change initiatives the city can access, but the feds need to see some local money first, and that’s where the donations will go. So far, 22 residents have contributed almost $10,000.
“And so the compromise we struck for this year — and who knows, we can revisit it going forward — was to sort of specifically streamline funds where people can donate the tax increase or more if they want, that goes right to projects are in the climate change action plan,” said Mayor Diane Therrien.
The city’s climate change action plan calls for a reduction of greenhouse gas by making changes to such things as transportation and waste management. The money collected through the donation plan will prime the pump in getting money from other sources of funding.
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Peterborough’s sustainability manager says they used the same process to originally launch the action plan in 2016.
“What we do, is we help to leverage the money,” said Melanie Kawalec. “So, for example, the development of the climate change action plan was leveraged from the Canadian Association of Municipalities and through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, so we ended up paying 10 percent for the entire study.
“That was simply levering our funding with other external funding.”
Donations to the fund can be made at Peterborough city hall.