Originally posted in the East Bay Times
Monday’s Piedmont City Council meeting began with a city proclamation naming Sept. 19 as “Matt Anderson Day,” thanking the Civic Spark intern for his 11 months of service working with environmental issues. (Laura A. Oda/Staff Archives)
PIEDMONT — The city has exceeded its goals by 18.4 percent to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, CivicSpark Fellow Matt Anderson told the Park Commission.
At the Aug. 3 commission meeting, Anderson said 295 residents have gone solar while 262 electric cars have been purchased. Anderson was hired as an intern through the federal AmeriCorps service program to assist the city with its energy conservation efforts. The commission thanked Anderson, whose internship will end in September, for his valuable assistance.
Parks and Project Manager Nancy Kent added that future efforts that are being considered to further goals include installing LED lights on the Oakland Avenue bridge; installing solar equipment at the corporation yard; and purchasing electric cars for city use.
Several other improvement projects are going on, Kent said. New path lights are being installed at Piedmont Center for the Arts, lights are being repaired and an LED timer is being installed. Landscaping is also being redone at the aquatic center with a new irrigation system.
“It is low-water and energy-efficient,” Kent said. “It is a small add-on project, also with about 15 pots in the center being replanted with color.”
The city also hired a certified playground safety inspector to assess its playground structures. The inspector checked playgrounds at the recreation center, Beach Elementary School tot lot, Dracena Park and others to ensure they were in compliance with current safety standards.
“The inspector said a new climbing structure needs to replace the current one at the Recreation Department to be in compliance.
“The other park playgrounds were OK, but they all need new bucket seats on the swing sets,” Kent said.
Some of the playgrounds contain sand for “soft landings” while others contain a special cushioned matting.
The safety inspector will be called in once a year to ensure that all the city’s playgrounds are safe and in compliance, Kent said.
The city’s Sunshares program, which opened Monday, enables residents to obtain a 15 percent discount on solar equipment by joining with other homeowners to work with approved contractors for the group discount. For more information, contact the Planning Department at 510-420-3063.