Lake of Bays hires a consultant for Climate Action Mitigation Plan
Lake of Bays Council approved the contract award for the Climate Action Mitigation Plan to Tatham Engineering Limited, in the September 26, 2023, meeting.
The company will provide consulting services to develop the joint municipal Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Change Mitigation Plan.
According to the staff report, “October 19, 2020, the District of Muskoka passed a motion to declare a national climate emergency in Canada.” The following year, in July 2021, Lake of Bays declared a climate emergency.
Since this time, staff have continued to report progress about the Climate Action Plan (CAP), including an endorsement for a Regional Climate Change Adaptation Plan (ReCAP) established in February 2023.
The next step is the Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Mitigation Plan, presented in the June 27th meeting.
A Regional Working Group has been established, which includes a representative from each of the six Lower Tier municipalities and one staff from the District. The group will be responsible for overseeing the development of the Plan.
The staff report indicates, “An inter-municipal staff team working together will ensure that the interests of each Lower-Tier Municipality are taken into account, will avoid unnecessary duplications of efforts, and will assist with the development of writing of the Plan.”
Director of Planning Services, April-Best Sararas, indicated, “Because it’s a joint project, with all area municipalities, the recommendation to award the contract is conditional on the other Lower Tier municipalities receiving similar direction from their respective Councils.”
The cost of the consulting firm services is $153,915, plus tax. It will be divided between the six municipalities, with each one being responsible for their portion of approximately $25,652.50, indicates the report.
Sararas indicates, “The joint cost for the consulting services for this portion of the CAP project was not anticipated for the Township’s 2023 budget. The Township’s portion to develop the Climate Mitigation Plan will be funded by reserves.”
Councillor, Mike Peppard, inquired about whether the consultants will be looking into the costs to the Township participating in the mitigation activities.
Sararas advised, “The focus primarily on this project is to develop that inventory. So, we’re going to look at the greenhouse gas emissions currently, create that baseline based on the province directive, and then also provide recommendations for mitigation.”
She emphasized that this is the stage under consideration at this point “and then I feel like that will kind of trickle through as we move forward.”
Staff will continue to proceed with the project in collaboration with the other municipalities and update Council about the progress.