Savannah city council holding last meeting of 2021

Savannah city council has a lot to discuss during Tuesday's final meeting of 2021.
Savannah city council has a lot to discuss during Tuesday's final meeting of 2021.(WTOC)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 7:02 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah city council wants the Hostess City to run off 100 percent clean energy in the next 14 years, and they’ll start to implement that plan on Tuesday.

An effort to make Savannah more energy efficient has been something Alderman Nick Palumbo has been working on for years and now city council is looking to approve a step-by-step plan to make that happen.

Outreach started in 2019 with a meeting about 100 percent clean energy pledges, and then that turned into a resolution. On Tuesday, council will look to approve the Savannah 100 percent Clean Energy Resolution plan, which will work to help the city reach its 100 percent clean energy goal by the year 2035.

Once approved, the plan will come back to city council every six months to check on the progress of converting from old fashioned energy to clean energy usage in the city.

“Our first target is major city facilities because a lot of them, especially our water treatment facility, are energy hogs out there and we spend millions of dollars a year on energy here at the city. So, we want to save some taxpayer dollars at the same time and as well as doing right by our environment which is a win-win for everybody and that is where we are going to start,” said Nick Palumbo, District 4 Alderman.

City council is also looking for new ways to promote affordable housing in the Hostess City. They’ll be looking to approve distributing funds of about $1.5 million to different organizations for COVID-19 relief among the homeless population, including Inner City Night Shelter, the Salvation Army, Union Mission, Greenbriar Children’s Center and Wesley community centers of Savannah.

The city is working on a inclusionary zoning ordinance that would promote affordable housing but first, they are asking the city manager to develop a new mandatory inclusionary zoning ordinance and implement it by the end of 2022.

Alderman Palumbo says looking back on 2021, we are coming out on the other side of the year stronger than ever.

“We were talking about in the beginning of 2021, when we were knee deep in this thing, talking about privatizing services and really triaging city facilities about what was going to stay and what was going to go and looking at the toughest budget that we ever had. Now we have flipped the other way around to looking at the best budget we’ve ever had,” Palumbo said.

During city council’s workshop session Tuesday, they will also be discussing the animal control ordinance and the possibility of staggering terms and term limits for city council members, which right now, they all come in on the same term and the group is currently halfway through their terms with two years down and two years left.

Tuesday’s meeting will be the last one of 2021. It will start with the workshop session at 12:30 p.m., and then the city council meeting starts at 2 p.m. They will be in-person at City Hall, but the meeting can be streamed on the city’s website or Facebook page.

For more information on Savannah’s 100 Percent Clean Energy Resolution Plan, click here.

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