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17-42 RESOLUTION 17-42 A RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF TAOS ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND A COMMITMENT TO ACTION WHEREAS, the Town of Taos is located in an ecologically fragile high plains, semi-arid environment where minute changes in temperature, precipitation, water quality, stream levels, water tables and other climatic and environmental conditions can have dramatic impacts on wildlife, agriculture, the economy, tourism and the quality of life in our region; and WHEREAS, it is evident that global environmental factors such as air pollution, global climate change and increased ocean temperatures can produce dramatic immediate and long-term impacts on Taos because of our geographic sensitivity to the impacts of El Nino and our critical winter snowpack and summer monsoons; and WHEREAS, the connection between weather, climate, environment and our ability and that of many species to survive in the Four Corners has been clearly demonstrated repeatedly during the hundreds-year drought during the years 700-800 A.D., 700 years ago when a drought brought the decline of the flourishing Anasazi civilization, bringing the Puebloan culture to Taos, and as recent as the 1920's and 30's when the Great Dust Bowl devastated agriculture and the economy,the 1950s drought that lasted until the 1980s, to our most recent drought-fueled wildfires, from which some of our native species and habitats have never recovered; and WHEREAS, recent meetings by the Town with the Environmental Protection Agency and US Forest Service have confirmed that our community will be facing shorter winters, shallower snow packs that will melt quicker, more frequent record breaking droughts and heat waves, more violent and extreme weather changes,and forest fires that will burn hotter and cover greater areas due to lower moisture content in the vegetation, disease from bark beetles,root funguses and other invasive species that are able to prey on the forests due to susceptibility due to drought and climate changes; WHEREAS, the cumulative effect of such high temperature fires sterilizing seeds and the soil combined with the lack of sufficient precipitation to regrow mature habitats, will likely mean the permanent and irretrievable loss of much of the habitat we now know in the southwest, such as Aspen, Ponderosa Pine and Pinon forests, such as we are now seeing from the Concha fire and the scars on our own hillsides above the Town; and Resolution 17-42 Page 1 of 9 WHEREAS, the Taos Valley has always been known as an epicenter of environmental creativity, innovation and sustainability, from the Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site and one of the oldest continually-inhabited structures in the world, to our adobe churches and homes, the world's largest open space building spanned with vigas,our earthships and acequia networks; and WHEREAS,Taos is already proudly known as the"Solar Capital of the World"; and WHEREAS, using renewable energy, conservation and environmentally-friendly technologies, identifying and recommitting to some of our historic environmentally supportive practices of our past, like our acequias,not only facilitates the preservation of the environment,but can result in increased cost- effectiveness by government, economic independence for our community and new, meaningful and well- paying jobs for local residents; and WHEREAS,there is currently a denial of the science and evidence of global climate change, as well as a lack of clear direction and leadership at the national level, to recognize, coordinate an effective response, and to act on an issue that is so important to all of us and all of our future generations, leaving local government to take the initiative, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF TAOS, BY THIS RESOLUTION THAT WE THE ELECTED OFFICIALS AND STAFF OF THE TOWN OF TAOS DO HERBY DECLARE THE FOLLOWING: SECTION 1. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE The Town of Taos commits to work to achieve energy independence through conservation, sustainability, innovation and an increased commitment to solar energy. a. IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF EXISTING SOLAR CAPABILITY The Town will commit to install monitoring equipment and perform any necessary maintenance and upgrades on its existing solar arrays at Town Hall, the Town Recycling Center, the Taos Regional Sewer Treatment Plant and the Eco-park to increase the production of clean, cheap solar energy and to reduce the dependence of the Town on fossil fuels. b. REDUCE THE TOWN'S CARBON FOOTPRINT THROUGH ADDITIONAL MUNICIPALLY SPONSORED SOLAR USAGE The Town will spend $2,000,000 within the next twelve months to create a one(1) megawatt solar array at the Taos Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant, the largest energy-consuming operation of the Town, and work with Sandia Labs to design the capability for battery storage to attempt to mitigate the carbon footprint created by that facility within one(1)year. The Town will commission a feasibility study for the installation of solar arrays at its second largest energy-consuming facility, the Taos Youth and Family Center, and seek grants and financing for the installation of solar photovoltaic electric panels and passive solar water heating systems mitigate the carbon footprint of this facility within two(2)years. Resolution 17-42 Page 2 of 9 • c. INCREASE REGIONAL ENERGY INDEPENDENCE THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS FOR SOLAR DEVELOPMENT The Town will immediately negotiate with Kit Carson Electric and Guzman Energy for the installation of up to an additional 30 megawatt solar array with battery storage on Town property at the Town's Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant to partner with Kit Carson Electric in achieving full daytime energy independence using locally generated, fully renewable solar energy by 2022. d. EXPLORE WAYS FOR THE TOWN TO ENCOURAGE SOLAR TECHNOLOGY The Planning and Legal Departments will, within 120 days from the passage of this resolution, complete a review of the Town's Building Code and Land Use Code to determine if there are any impediments to solar technology or needed protections that should be included and recommend to the Planning Commission and Council, not later than six (6) months from this date, any required amendments to the Town's Codes. SECTION 2. REDUCE THE TOWN'S CARBON FOOTPRINT THROUGH ENERGY CONSERVATION AND ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES The Town commits to actively engage in finding ways to reduce energy consumption through conservation,increasing the efficiency of existing vehicles, facilities and equipment and substituting more efficient technologies. a. ENERGY STUDIES—REGIONAL SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT The Town will participate this year in an energy efficiency study by Johnson Controls, sponsored by the NM Energy and Minerals Department, to study the Town's Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant and will incorporate the recommendations of that study for increasing energy efficiency and employing any new technologies. The Town has also committed to fully employee the findings of a separate study commissioned by the Town through Soulder Miller and Associates to conduct a full analysis of the operations of the facility, which has resulted in a 66% improvement in the quality of the water returned to the environment after treatment and a 300%reduction in mechanical processes and energy used. b. ENERGY STUDIES—UTILITIES The Town will contract with an independent energy consulting firm to identify the largest energy consuming operations of the Town and to propose financing for instituting energy-related savings. It is anticipated that this will include examining the potential retrofitting all sodium, mercury and halogen park, facility and street lighting over the next three (3) years with LED technology, reducing operational demands,costs and energy consumption by those systems by an estimated 66%. c. ENERGY STUDIES—EQUIPMENT AND GENERAL OPERATIONS The Town will immediately begin to examine the need, financing and timeframe for replacing all current heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators and other appliances within three (3) years with high efficiency units or alternative technologies (such as heat pumps, passive solar and geothermal) with greater efficiency. Resolution 17-42 Page 3 of 9 d. ENERGY STUDIES—FLEET OPERATIONS The Town will conduct a study of how to improve mileage and longevity within its extensive fleet of construction, police, maintenance and other vehicles, with recommendations to Council within six (6) months, including,where feasible,the use of electric vehicles. e. ENERGY REDUCTION—YOUTH AND FAMILY CENTER The Town will continue to complete its $2,000,000 renovation of the Taos Youth and Family Center, replacing walls and roofs with increased insulation and vapor barriers to reduce infiltration and energy loss,with work to be completed not later than January 1, 2018. The Town will commission a study of the efficiency and condition of the Taos Youth and Family Center's Dektron units, the pool area's HVAC, heat and air exchangers, as the largest single piece of energy consuming machinery owned by the Town, and make all recommended maintenance and upgrades to increase efficiency by December 31, 2017 and examine the retrofitting or replacement of the unit with improved technology within three(3)years. f. ENERGY MANAGEMENT—FACILITIES,GENERAL The Town will solicit and contract with an energy and mechanical systems control agency within six (6) months to automate and improve the 24 hour operation and efficiency of all environmental systems in all Town-owned facilities,providing centralized monitoring and control for the Facilities Department SECTION 3. AGREEMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PRESERVATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE ACEQUTA NETWORK WITHIN THE TOWN OF TAOS a. LAND USE PROTECTIONS The Town will examine its Land Use Code and adopt any changes by September 1, 2017 to ensure the protection of the acequia network and related maintenance easements from encroachment by development within the Town and ensure that contamination through run-off from streets, parking lots and other sources does not negatively impact the acequia network. b. PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE The Town shall develop a statement of findings of fact as to the environmental,hydrologic, economic and cultural significance of the acequia network and establish the basis for a legal government-to-government relationship with those acequias that the Town is a member of or relays on for water supply to assist the acequia commissions, where needed, in the restoration, preservation and maintenance of the acequia network given its importance in recharging the aquifers of the Taos Valley. SECTION 4. PROMOTE ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION MODALITIES AS A WAY TO REDUCE EMISSIONS IN THE DOWNTOWN DUE TO TRAFFIC a. ELECTRIC VEHICLES The Town will commit to the installation and continued maintenance of at least two (2) solar-assisted public recharging stations within one (1) year for electric vehicles in order to encourage the use of clean electric vehicles locally and to enable Taos to become more accessible for environmentally conscious tourists. Resolution 17-42 Page 4 of 9 b. BIKE LANES The Town is committed to increase the presence of safe bike lanes throughout the Town, implementation of the Town Bicycle Plan, and the incorporation of bike lanes wherever possible into all road resurfacing and road construction projects. The Town will seek the installation of northbound and southbound bike lanes and safe intersection crossings as part of the NM DOT Paseo del Pueblo rehabilitation project throughout the length of the highway within town limits. c. TRAILS AND WALKING PATHS The Town commits to the repair and expansion of all walking paths within Town parks and on Town property, to develop a town-wide sidewalk repair program and the installation of sidewalks on all Town roads to and from schools,the Downtown and major shopping areas. The Town will seek the installation of northbound and southbound sidewalks, pedestrian bump outs and safe intersection crossings as part of the NM DOT Paseo del Pueblo rehabilitation project throughout the length of the highway within Town limits. The Town has been a financial sponsor with the Trust for Public Lands in the year-long Greenprinting process to identify and prioritize open space,trails, critical habitat,potential greenways and blueways and to develop GIS layers for these assets. The Town will work with the County, Taos Pueblo, the Trust for Public Lands, the Taos Land Trust, other municipalities within the Enchanted Circle and interested non-profits to develop an urban trails system within the Town to link parks, schools, recreational areas, public lands, shopping and essential services. d. PUBLIC TRANSIT The Town entered into an inter-governmental agreement to transfer the Town-owned Chili Line to the North Central Transit District (NCRTD) in order to provide expanded service routes and schedules, eliminate all fares to riders and to enhance para-transit and medical transport services for Taos residents. The Town also created safer bus stops and turn-outs for pedestrians, as well as loading and unloading, including the newest Smith's grocery store stop. The Town is working with NCRTD to extend the service day to encourage increased ridership by working families, Saturday coverage and Friday and Saturday night coverage during special events and the tourist season. e. PARKING Increase the availability, capacity and convenience of parking in the historic downtown, reducing traffic and airborne contaminants created by cars looking for convenient parking and encouraging walking. The Town will research the acquisition of downtown properties that can serve as supplemental at-grade convenient parking for the near future as well as options for the construction of a 2-story at-grade and Resolution 17-42 Page 5 of 9 underground parking ramp to serve long-term parking needs for residents, UNM, Taos School District and major traffic generators and employers. The Town will also conduct a parking study of how to more effectively use existing parking, including the potential for identifying multiple uses for the same parking areas dependent on hours and days it is needed, such as employer use versus weekend special events. All Town parking shall include bike parking racks and the Town will work with NCRTD to explore the need for bike racks at bus stops, as well as confirming that all NCRTD busses have the capability to safely transport bicycles between stops. SECTION 5. SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE REGIONAL,NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION,INITIATIVES AND COMMITMENTS ON AGRICULTURAL LAND,WATER,OPEN SPACE AND HABITAT PRESERVATION, RENEWABLE ENERGY,ENERGY CONSERVATION,ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, AND CLIMATE CHANGE. Work cooperatively with other governmental partners, including Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Taos County, Taos School District, Holy Cross Hospital, Taos Ski Valley, Red River, Questa and non-profit partners to support environmental protections for air, water, wilderness, farmland, open space, parks and critical habitats as well as to explore legislation and cooperative efforts to address energy and climate issues and policy. a. FEDERAL AND INTERNATIONAL—PARIS ACCORDS The Mayor and Council support and will not later than 45 days from the passage of this Resolution contact and strongly encourage our federal officials to support the Paris Climate accords as an internationally agreed upon long-term plan to address global warming and climate change. b. FEDERAL AND STATE — PARKS, WILDENESS AND NATIONAL MONUMENT DESIGNATIONS The Mayor and Council support and will, not later than 45 days from the passage of this Resolution, contact and strongly encourage our federal officials and state to continue to support the preservation and continued designation of our national monuments and public lands and, further, to increase funding for their maintenance, study and continued public input on sound management for their traditional and historic purposes,as well as to promote them as global destinations for ecotourism. c. LOCAL REGULATION—EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES The Town Planning and Legal Departments will develop and propose to the Mayor and Council within 90 days of the passage of this Resolution sufficient regulations to provide absolute protection of the watershed, aquifers and all surface waters within the Town from possible contamination from extractive industries, including but not limited to mining, drilling and fracking and the Town shall invite Taos County and other municipalities to work together in partnership to adopt similar model legislation to protect our water supplies throughout the Taos Valley. d. INTER-AGENCY COOPERATION—WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE Resolution 17-42 Page 6 of 9 The Town will be continue to be an active member of the County's Wild-Urban Interface(WUI) County Wildfire Protection Plan(CWPP) Core Team, promoting the reduction and severity of wildfires through thinning projects that increase forest health, promote wildlife diversity, increase the percentage of snow that enters the watershed rather than being lost to evaporation, and reduces flooding and silting of waterways from fire ravaged lands. e. INTER-AGENCY COOPERATION—REGIONAL WATER PLANNING The Town will continue to participate in and co-chair with the County the Regional Water Plan update process through broad regional community involvement and to facilitate through staffing, funding and technical support the expansion of this process between updates to develop a public education and implementation plan by December,2018. f. INTER-AGENCY COOPERATION—RIVER RESTORATION The Town will continue to participate with the County, Taos Pueblo, US Forest Service, Rivers and Birds,Taos Land Trust, Taos Soils and Water Conservation District, Trust for Public Lands and others in the long-term study of,monitoring of and rehabilitation of the Rio Fernando from its source to its end. This project will impact and be developed in conjunction with the plans of the Town and Taos Land Trust for a regional park and possible riparian study area built around the existing Baca Park, Taos land Trust's proposed Rio Fernando Park and adjacent property owned by the Town that has not yet been developed. g. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION—REGIONAL RECYCLING The Town will continue to work with the County and other participating municipalities in the Enchanted Circle to host and gain the participation of the Taos Regional Landfill Board partners in the development of a regional recycling initiative and to expand the volume of recyclable resources diverted from the landfill,as well as to explore new markets and options for those materials. h. INTER-GOVERMENTAL COOPERATION—PLASTIC BAGS The Town will form a workgroup with the County to examine the feasibility of regulating the use of non- recyclable or biodegradable plastic bags or otherwise encouraging the use of reusable bags for retail stores. i. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION-TAOS SOILS AND WATER DISTRICT The Town will renew and examine ways to enhance its inter-agency relationship with the Taos Soil and Water Conservation District to identify joint projects to preserve water quality, farmland, and acequias,to manage invasive species and noxious weeds, map our acequias and monitor well usage within the watershed. j. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION -ABEYTA WATER SETTLEMENT The Town will work in partnership with the Taos Pueblo, the Taos Valley acequia commissions and mutual domestics to implement the federally-approved provisions of the Abeyta Water Settlement to ensure that clean and plentiful water is available and provided equitably for agriculture, human consumption, wildlife and reasonable growth for the foreseeable future and will assist, as needed and where possible,those entities that may not have the technical, professional or financial resources to carry out those provisions in order to access their fair share of water available. Resolution 17-42 Page 7 of 9 k. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION—ELIMINATE FAILED SEPTICS The Town will work in partnership with the County and applicable mutual domestics to develop an inter- governmental agreement on how to permit and finance the extension of regional sewage collection and treatment in order to reduce the development of new septic systems,the concentration of existing systems and to eliminate the increasing number of failed or outdated systems that are contributing to the contamination of the shallow domestic and agricultural wells, wetlands and surface waters, such as the Rio Fernando. 1. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION -ELIMINATE ILLEGAL WELLS The Town will work in partnership with the County and applicable mutual domestics to explore the potential of identifying and eliminating illegal domestic and agricultural wells, wells that do not have appropriate technology to prevent back-flow and contamination of aquifers,unmetered illegal hook-ups to municipal and community water systems, encourage trailer parks, subdivisions and large commercial users to hook-up to municipal systems or mutual domestics that are monitored and metered, and develop a series of system interconnections to assist in emergencies from drought, equipment or system failure or contamination and to minimize pressure on aquifers under stress by balancing demand on the watershed where and when needed. m. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION—PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT In conjunction with the Taos Soils and Water Conservation District, the NM Extension Service, local businesses and environmental advocates, the Town has adopted and will employ an Integrated Pest Management Plan(IPMP) for the use and application on Town-owned public properties and facilities that uses a"Best Practices"approach to minimize the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides,prioritizing education,natural methods,minimum exposure and public notification. The Town is also working with local merchants that may sell such chemical treatments to clearly identify instructions on appropriate use and application, alternative treatments and appropriate disposal. The Town will also continue to advocate for the County and other municipalities to adopt a similar resolution. n. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION—REGIONALIZED SERVICES The Town will also work with the County,municipalities and mutual domestics to explore the potential of a regionally governed water and sanitation district to reduce operations and capital costs of hook-up and supply for customers, improve water supply and quality, reduce the number of unmonitored and unregistered wells, as well as to more accurately monitor and administer water usage on a regional basis that is consistent with the actual functioning of the Taos Valley's regional watershed. SECTION 6. LAND USE-PARKS,AGRICULTURE,OPEN SPACE The Town will identify ways in which to identify, prioritize,preserve, and promote viable and irrigatable agricultural land, open space, culturally significant and historic sites and buildings and critical vegetation within the Town limits. The Town shall partner with organizations such as the Taos Land Trust, Alianza Agri-Cultura de Taos, Taos Soil and Water Conservation District, and others, to enact local polices, and endorse state and federal policies that preserve and expand local agriculture, and incentivize local businesses that support local agricultural production, such as farm-to-table restaurants, other food producers, and other value added manufacturers. Resolution 17-42 Page 8 of 9 TREE BOARD The Town will maintain an active Tree Board to advice on the preservation and restoration of the Town's tree canopy, as well as tree health and plantings on Town properties, including parks, public buildings road right-of-ways, easements,trails and greenways. The Town will continue its commitment to the town-wide tree inventory, identifying species, age and health of all trees, as well as recommending those trees that need treatment or replacement. The Town will continue its annual arborist classes for Town employees, utility employees and other whose jobs may impact the health of trees in the Town. The Town has been recognized as a Tree City by the National Arbor Day Tree City USA Program and is committed, consistent with the requirements of that program, to spend the required proportion of its budget on tree inventorying, preservation and restoration, as well as public education, to maintain a local Tree Board as an advisory council on tree matters and to apply for such grants and gifts as are available toward theses ends. The Town is engaged, in conjunction with the Town Arborist, in the removal of dead or diseased trees (12),restoration of trees in need of attention(5) and replacement of dead or previously removed trees(16) in Kit Carson Park and on the Taos Plaza, to be completed by December 31, 2017. The Town commits to replace every tree removed due to death or disease with at least two (2) new healthy mature trees that are native and/or more adapted to the changing environment in Taos. PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED, this 8th day of August, 2017, at the Regular Meeting of the Town Council by the following vote: Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel Evans yes Councilmember Darien Fernandez yes Councilmember George"Fritz"Hahn yes Councilmember Judith Cantu yes TOWN OF TAOS /kb i . 'lel R.Ba rone, ;yor ATTEST~ o � ., APPROVED AS TO FORM • • Rnee L> a:(L,T.3444trier. Stephen C.Ross,Town Attorney •\* 1 4) ., l �� •/'L - Resolution 17-42 Page 9 of 9