December 18, 2015

With the recent snow giving the downtown holiday lights a nice backdrop, it’s worth noting that our energy efficiency and conservation staff has been working behind the scenes to reduce the energy consumption of the Festival of Lights tradition. The lighting on City Hall was converted this season to 100% LED, as was much of the lighting in common areas that utilize City-provided electricity. While the lighting is seasonal and is not an overly burdensome energy load, the switch to LED significantly reduces energy consumption while maintaining the festive environment that continues to engage locals and tourists in visiting, shopping and eating downtown throughout the holiday season.

As the City dives into the important work of developing a Climate and Energy Action Plan, we continually monitor regional energy planning, since it has a direct effect on every utility, public or private, in the Pacific Northwest’s four-state region. The NW Power and Conservation Council is charged with the following mission: “To ensure, with public participation, an affordable and reliable energy system while enhancing fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin.” A significant tool in meeting this mandated mission and objectives is the development and adoption of the regional power plan. The sixth power plan just recently expired and the draft seventh power plan is now published and available for final review prior to Council hearings in the spring for plan adoption. This article, from the Seattle Times, gives some insight into the high altitude elements of the plan, which (spoiler alert) relies on energy efficiency as the lowest cost energy resource and contains enough potential to meet the region’s energy demands over the next 20-year period. The plan also anticipates and plans for the upcoming closure of three coal-fired plants, which helps the region meet the national EPA carbon dioxide emissions limits. City staff have been involved and closely monitoring the development of the plan and the requirements placed by the plan on Bonneville Power Administration and its customers, which include and affect the City’s municipal utility operations and conservation efforts. Click here for detailed information on the NW Power and Conservation Council and the Seventh Power Plan.

Fire Department
This past Saturday, CERT presented at the Ashland Public Library’s Disaster Preparedness Series. This was the final program (in a series of four) for regional community members to focus on preparing for the "big one" and other facets of general preparedness. The series was so popular it had to be moved out of the smaller Guanajuato room into the larger Gresham room to accommodate all those in attendance. The Library will continue offering programs under the preparedness umbrella in 2016, including a children’s program.

Police Department
This week, Deputy Chief Warren Hensman and Sergeant Bobby Smith helped judge Christmas light displays at the Snowberry Brook complex on Clay Street. They both had a great time. Below is a picture of the Deputy Chief and Carrie, the facility manager.

Last Sunday, the department held its annual holiday and awards dinner at a local restaurant. Officer Jason Billings was recognized as APD’s employee of the year. In the photo below, Chief Tighe O’Meara presents the Chief’s Award to Officer Steve MacLennan. Officer MacLennan does a great job organizing and executing most of the City’s major events. His teamwork and leadership within the department is greatly appreciated.

Previous Updates:

December 11, 2015

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