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Algonquin approves Cool Cities agreement for cleaner energy

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 5, 2013 11:20 a.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – The village this week reaffirmed its promise to continue practices that are helpful to the environment by renewing its pledge to the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program.

The three-year agreement, which is nonbinding, calls for practices that reduce dependence on fossil fuels and encourages the development of clean energy sources, support of greenhouse gas reduction legislation and reduction of greenhouse gases from 2009 levels. Algonquin has been part of the program since 2007.

Village operations already include sustainable practices, including water conservation, membership in the Tree City USA program, use of naturalized detention basins, use of alternative fuels such as biodiesel or natural gas and a conversion to LED lights.

Practicing conservation habits, such as conserving water or doing volume-based recycling, is something the village has done since the 1990s, Assistant to the Village Manager Mike Kumbera said.

As part of those efforts, the village’s public works department recently evaluated its purchase of two natural gas vehicles. After four months of using the vehicles, the village found a reduction of gasoline use by 456 gallons and a reduction of carbon emissions by nearly 4 metric tons, which are about the annual emissions of one passenger vehicle, the village said in a news release.

The village estimates it will save more than $48,000 during the expected life of the vehicles, according to the news release.

“This is another great conservation-minded practice that meets both the environmental and fiduciary objectives of the village,” Village President John Schmitt said in a news release.

In other action, Village Board trustees approved adding pavilions at Willoughby Farms Park and Hill Climb Park to the list of available parks for rental.

The village wanted to provide additional parks for rental because Towne Park is closed because of the ongoing construction of the Algonquin Western Bypass.

Pavilions at Cornish Park and Riverfront Park also are available to be rented.

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