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City Hall celebrates environmental program

City Hall will celebrate five days in September as ‘Blue Sky Week,’ an acknowledgement of a key measure in the local government’s environmental programs.

Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council set aside Sept. 6-10 as Blue Sky Week, adopting a resolution briefly describing the efforts to use cleaner-burning energies or renewable energies.

The resolution says the United States is "facing a growing need for renewable energy generation and the resources required to develop renewable energy are in great demand."

The Blue Sky Week moniker appears to be taken from Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program, which offers the option for people to sign up for renewable energies. According to the City Hall resolution, 11 percent of the customers in Park City took part in the 10-year-old program in 2009.

City Hall itself, meanwhile, purchases blocks of energy through the Blue Sky program equating to approximately 10 percent of the municipal government’s electricity use, the resolution says.

"Park City has an interest in ensuring the Blue Sky program continues to thrive and provide funding for renewable energy development and projects," the resolution says.

There have been six projects in the Park City area funded by Rocky Mountain Power’s wider Blue Sky program, the resolution indicates. One was a solar array at the Park City Ice Arena.

In a report submitted to the elected officials, Tyler Poulson, a City Hall staffer assigned to environmental programs, said officials will partner with companies like Rocky Mountain Power and groups like Recycle Utah to promote the Blue Sky program.

Williams has made City Hall’s environmental programs, sometimes called sustainability programs, a hallmark of his administration, and he is seen as the top supporter at City Hall of the programs.

City Hall has a wide-ranging environmental platform, with programs ranging from running buses on cleaner-burning fuel to preserving undeveloped land as open space.

Supporters see the programs as a way to combat climate change. They say Park City’s long-term viability as a mountain resort could be threatened someday by the effects of a warming planet, with some worried that the ski industry could suffer terribly if temperatures increase even just slightly.


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