Ever need to know how many single-family wood-framed houses were sold in the Midwest last year? Or the latitude and longitude of every farmers market in Wisconsin that sells herbs, flowers, and soap? What about the number of planes that … Read more
Yearly Archives: 2014
The call came in on a December morning several years ago. When I saw that the caller ID said “Santa Claus” I decided not to answer the phone. My thought was “seriously, what will these telemarketers think of next?!?” Later … Read more
Just in case you aren’t up on your stormwater finance acronyms, the long version of today’s blog post is A Municipal Separate Stormwater System (MS4) uses a Public Private Partnership (P3) to address a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Regulation. … Read more
This week of Thanksgiving, we at the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) are grateful for many things, including work in an interesting field and the opportunity to assist communities with the challenges of sustainable environmental finance. But not all Americans are so fortunate during this holiday time, including when it comes to affording needs such as drinking water, wastewater, electricity, stormwater, and other environmental services.
It’s the environmental equivalent of the chicken and egg conundrum. Which comes first? The energy efficiency retrofit (the plump chicken full of opportunity) or the capital (the very large egg) with which to fund it? The answer is “it doesn’t matter.” … Read more
The Environmental Finance Center has partnered with Arcadis, Raftelis Financial Consultants, ICMA, and Stratus Consulting to get to the bottom of what meaningful communication between water utilities and their governing boards regarding rates and finances looks like. What do the … Read more
My interest in Green Infrastructure (GI) sparked several years ago, when I worked as a college intern with the City of Greensboro, NC Stormwater Department. Back then, no one really talked about “green infrastructure”, but the city was invested in … Read more
Greentown, USA wants to join some of its large older city peers such as Washington and Philadelphia that are rebranding themselves as Green Environmental Cities. Greentown wants to become the greenest small town in the country and would like to encourage property owners across their town to plant more trees, convert their rain shedding roofs into rain absorbing green space, and dig up their pavement and replace it with rain gardens and other stormwater systems that reduce run-off. They have started a media blitz promoting this green transformation, yet progress has been painfully slow. Older shopping centers like Southside Center continue to produce torrents of rainwater runoff laden with oil and trash that pollutes the area’s waterways. Retrofitting existing space is costly and property owners have other competing needs for their scarce renovation dollars, and education alone only goes so far in promoting transformation. The city council is deadlocked between a contingent that wants to enact regulation that requires older properties to “Greenify” and a contingent that thinks the city should just use public grants to incentivize the transformation. Greentown, like many communities across the country, is stuck. What’s the solution?
Local governments can be important partners for state and tribal wetland programs. As noted in a previous post, while states and tribes often manage wetland programs, local governments regularly make land use, zoning, and development decisions that have a direct … Read more
Water utility governing boards serve a critical role in ensuring the provision of clean, safe drinking water. Governing boards are tasked with making important and complex decisions in line with the utility’s mission, and they ultimately serve to keep water … Read more