As San Jose hammers out a spending plan for a $650 million disaster preparedness, public safety and infrastructure bond, Sam Liccardo wants to earmark some of the money to fund sustainable buildings.
In a proposal that garnered support from City Council members Dev Davis, Raul Peralez, Lan Diep and Johnny Khamis, the mayor suggests allocating Measure T funds for San Jose’s carbon-reduction plan.
A year ago, councilors adopted the Climate Smart San Jose plan to align with the Paris agreement after President Donald Trump pulled out of the global pact. The city’s version laid out an ambitious goal: to reduce carbon emissions by 6.5 percent year-over-year through 2050. To meet that benchmark, the city aims to incentivize zero-net-carbon buildings, which would rely entirely on solar or wind—what’s offered on the nascent San Jose Clean Energy system (SJCE).
“Understanding how we can continue to build and retrofit our municipal facilities to a higher standard will play an important role in meeting our ‘Climate Smart’ goals, and staff should return with an analysis of best practices for sustainable design and construction,” Liccardo, Khamis, Peralez, Diep and Davis state in a shared memo.
In 2018, the city launched its community choice energy system SJCE, a plan that allows residents to buy energy from clean sources, as an alternative to utility companies like PG&E. The plan allowed residents to either buy their electricity from city-funded clean energy sources, or to stick with their current PG&E plan, all at competitive prices.
On Tuesday, the council will consider authorizing city officials in charge of SJCE to negotiate with the California Independent System Operator, the regulating body for California’s mass electric grid. An agreement with the state regulator would allow SJCE to operate similarly to other utility companies like PG&E.
Also on Tuesday’s docket is a proposed plan to spend $125,000 in grant money from the federal government for homelessness prevention services. The funds were originally granted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2017 for a series of homeless housing programs and an AIDS-related housing project.
Some $440,000 of the original round of funding went to the Bill Wilson Center, a nonprofit that shelters homeless and runaway children and young adults. However, changes in Santa Clara County’s re-housing program didn’t allow the center enough time to spend $125,000 of its grant money before the end of the last fiscal year. As a result, the funds must be reallocated by the city to avoid losing the money to the feds.
Tuesday’s proposal will try to hash out an action plan for the remaining money to create a new program with Bill Wilson to focus on both family and youth. That includes using the funds to provide for about 20 homeless individuals or families.
More from the San Jose City council agenda for February 12, 2019:
- The city manager has released his 2018-19 mid-year budget review, which details how city funds were spent since the beginning of the fiscal year and what needs to be adjusted.
- TechCU and the city have prepared an agreement to offer workers at Mineta San Jose International Airport no-interest loans if a second government shutdown occurs should Congress fail to pass a budget by Friday. A proposal was approved last month, but Congress and President Donald Trump agreed to re-open the government the following day. Should this week’s deadline pass without an agreed-upone federal budget, the city and TechCU will offer loans to affected airport workers.
- The city will proclaim February 2019 as Dental Health Awareness Month
- The city will present Patricia Gardner, head of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, with a commendation for her work in the field.
- The city will refund $680,000 to Westfield, owner of Westfield Valley Fair mall. Westfield was charged over $1 million in taxes for construction on a new retail building, an apparent miscalculation on the city’s part.
- The council will vote on naming the BART station in Little Portugal 28th Street/Little Portugal.
- Devaney Engineering has been chosen to perform significant sewage repairs in District 1.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260