Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak and Toledo Mayor Michael P. Bell joined members of the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission at a press conference to announce the selection of Brendle Group to guide the effort to develop a communitywide sustainability plan.
The Toledo-Lucas County sustainability plan follows closely on the GreenTown Toledo-Lucas County Conference held in October 2012. The day long community conference examined all aspects of community sustainability from water quality and recycling to urban planning, physical activity and access to locally produced foods.
"Following GreenTown, we are pleased to take this next exciting step on making Toledo and Lucas County one of the most sustainable communities in the United States,” said Wozniak. “I commend the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission on their years of hard work and dedication to sustainable living. The Board of Commissioners look forward to continuing to partner with the city of Toledo, the Brendle Group and The Collaborative to institute a dynamic plan for all our residents."
In a press release, officials say the need for a community wide sustainability plan has had broad buy-in from organizations who participated in GreenTown and those who value long term community planning.
The Lucas County Commissioners and the City of Toledo are considering legislation authorizing contributions of $40,000 each. The Toledo Community Foundation has committed to $10,000. Additionally the City of Toledo’s Division of Environmental Services has secured two technical assistance grants providing for the use of national experts to develop local data to be used in the sustainability planning process.
“GreenTown was a great catalyst to get this process moving and the Sustainability Commission has worked hard to keep the project on the front burner,” said Bell. “As a community, we need to continue to make long term planning a priority to ensure the city and county we leave behind for the next generation present a high quality of life with sustainable assets.”
Now in its 17th year, Brendle Group is a sustainability consulting firm focused on engineering and strategic planning that works with communities nationwide – including their current work on Cleveland’s Climate Action Plan – on energy, climate, water, economic development, and sustainability planning initiatives. Brendle Group is based in Fort Collins, Colorado and will partner locally with The Collaborative. The Collaborative was the lead architectural partner on the construction of the Huntington Center, the county’s LEED Gold Certified multipurpose venue. The Center for Neighborhood Technology will also be a part of the consulting team.
"We are very excited to collaborate with the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission to develop a long-term vision and plan for sustainability in the region,” said Judy Dorsey, Brendle Group’s President. “From our experience working with communities nationwide, the momentum the Commission has already generated is extremely encouraging and will provide a solid framework on which to build the Sustainability Plan.”
Brendle Group was selected through a competitive procurement process. Six proposals were submitted for consideration. Brendle Group’s experience in formulating more than 25 plans nationwide made them a standout among the choices. The Sustainability Commission anticipates having a draft version this October with a final plan completed by the end of 2013. Implementation of the plan will follow community wide.