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Local Governments, Concerned About Climate Change, Meet To Share Ideas

Closely spaced solar panels tilt upward in a field.
Toby Talbot
AP Photo

Breaking down silos: that's the aim of a meeting in Kalamazoo Township Friday. The guests are officials from local governments – cities, townships and the county. They intend to share plans for fighting climate change, becoming more sustainable and building resiliencey, and perhaps for working together.

“A number of us have passed climate emergency resolutions,” said Kalamazoo Township Trustee Nicolette Leigh, who co-organized the meeting. “And part of the resolutions we’ve passed have said that we should be regional.”

So far, local units have mostly worked on their own, installing solar panels or calling for action on the climate. But Leigh said that cooperating might lead to a “strength in numbers” effect, for example, when buying solar arrays.

“We might be able to get a group discount rate type of thing, you know?” she said.

And short of collaboration, local governments can at least tell each other about what they’re working on, she said.

“Eventually I would like to see all of the townships, villages and cities within Kalamazoo County at least involved to some extent with this group,” Leigh added.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. Friday at the Kalamazoo Township office on Riverview Drive.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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