New board gets green light

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By Carol A. Clark

The code ordinance creating the Environmental Sustainability Board was enthusiastically approved by County Council Tuesday to replace the Solid Waste Management Board. Council previously approved the formation of the board and sunsetting of the Solid Waste Management Board in March as part of its Environmental Sustainability Initiative.

The new board will serve as a point of coordination for the sustainability programs within Los Alamos County. It will be responsible for activities related to recycling and solid waste policy as well as other environmental sustainability issues such as green building and fuel efficiency.

“I really like the way we’re moving on this,” Councilor Jim West said. “The Environmental Sustainability Board is a whole lot better than a landfill.”

County Environmental Manager Regina Wheeler told councilors that the new board will consist of seven members. The three members of the Solid Waste Management Board may transfer to the Environmental Sustainability Board and said she already has five applicants for the remaining four positions.

Solid Waste Management Board members Tim Neal, Larry Warner and Jean Burrow were appointed to the new board.The board will provide semi-annual reports of its activities and accomplishments to council, Wheeler said.

West and other councilors praised Wheeler and those individuals involved for their efforts in creating the new board.

Council also unanimously approved the appointment of Maria Wolfe to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Janie O’Rourke to the Transportation Board.

The P&Z generally meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in Council Chambers at the Community Building on 20th Street. The nine members are appointed by county council to serve three-year terms.

The commission considers long-range planning and land development issues for the county and acts as its zoning commission. It also holds public hearings and has the authority to approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove applications for site plans, special use permits and subdivisions per the County Development Code.

The Transportation Board is comprised of seven-members who oversee transportation matters, review the county’s snow and ice control plan and advise County Council on related matters. Board members serve two-year terms and typically meet at 5:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month in the Public Works conference room.