Sitka’s Sustainability Commission has been ambitiously tackling its 2024 goals, showing significant progress and laying out plans for the upcoming year. During a recent assembly meeting, Commission Chair Katie Riley provided an update on their achievements and the challenges ahead. Riley humorously referenced their progress as taking “bites” out of large goals, acknowledging that while they’ve made headway, there’s still work to be done. The commission has notably advanced in developing a community renewable energy strategy, supported by a federal ETIPP grant. However, efforts to divert solid waste and transition the city’s vehicle fleet to electric have progressed more slowly. These objectives are being refined and carried into next year’s plans.

Mayor Steven Eisenbeisz raised concerns about the potential impact of waning manufacturer support for electric vehicles on the commission’s goals. Riley reassured that the shift in market trends would not deter their plans, highlighting the suitability of electric vehicles for Sitka’s unique geographical context. Assembly member Tim Pike and others commended the commission’s efforts, expressing optimism for the future, especially regarding electric vehicle adoption and the utilization of local hydropower resources. The assembly’s unanimous approval of the commission’s 2024-2025 goals and work plan underscores the community’s commitment to sustainability and innovation.

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