The Lewisboro Town Board is seeking input from the Sustainability Advisory Committee on ways it can combat climate change.

Councilman Daniel Welsh, a longtime advocate for sustainability, wants to compel the community into action.

“There’s an urgency that wasn’t there before,” Welsh said. “It’s helpful that we have a board that is very unified in recognizing that.”

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Supervisor Peter Parsons, referencing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, said the Northeast is one of the fastest-warming regions during a board meeting on Aug. 26.

Parsons said this has resulted in warmer winters, impacting winter sports and other cold-weather activities. 

To combat this, the town has established a Sustainability Advisory Committee, operated recycling centers and participated in countywide solar and energy programs. It looks to continue these efforts and lead another round of campaigns in the area.
Parsons said he is concerned about the impact on the community; algae blooms and increases in the numbers of ticks also have threatened quality of life.       

“The outdoors are central to the quality of life in Lewisboro,” Parsons said.  

Parsons suggested planting more trees and switching to alternative energy sources such as heat pumps, hydroelectric power and solar panels.
Additionally, Welsh envisions doing an inventory to see how the town could do better minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating those effects through municipal regulations. He also plans to begin charging trash fees on a volume basis, which would be an unprecedented approach in the area.

“If we were to take action, we might be able to play a leadership role like what we did with the plastic bags ban,” Welsh said. “We helped to add energy to that in the county because our code was a bit more aggressive.”

Last year, the town passed a law banning the use of plastic bags and charging 15 cents for each paper bag, triple the state’s 5-cent charge. 

Although he has anticipated challenges derived from budget concerns and a change of attitude, he expects to get support from the community. 

“We’ll turn the challenges into positive actions,” Welsh said. “We just need a plan to move forward in a strong way.”