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Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert said Wednesday that climate action plan is progressing as planned

OMAHA, Nebraska — Mayor Jean Stothert stated on Wednesday that work has been ongoing since April 2021 to create a document that will be used to offer bids for a consultant for Omaha’s climate action plan.

Now, it has been completed. Stothert reported that the Metro Smart Cities Advisory Committee adopted a final version on Wednesday, following a closed-door meeting of regional mayors, corporate executives, and other powerful figures who made minor modifications.

The mayor disagrees with the complaint from activists and City Council President Pete Festersen that development has been slow.

Wednesday, Stothert told four television stations and the Omaha World-Herald, “It’s really not taking long.” I do not believe it is taking very long.

In November, the city council initially expressed support for a plan. Festersen stated that the request for proposal was expected to be concluded on Wednesday, a few months after the November meeting.

However, according to Stothert, climate efforts are a priority for her and the city. She delivered a six-page report detailing these efforts. It involves, among other things, introducing ORBT, modernizing traffic signals to prevent idling, extending dedicated bike lanes, and expanding the city’s recycling program. The complete document is provided below.

The municipal council reaffirmed its support for a climate action plan last week. It requested funding and hiring of the consultant before the end of 2022. Stothert stated that city cash will be utilized, but not from this year’s budget as requested by the council.

Stothert noted that the council’s action is non-binding, and the city will adhere to this timeframe, which includes engaging a consultant early next year and finishing the climate plan by 2024.

Stothert stated that the complete paper will not be distributed until Thursday so that adjustments from the discussion on Wednesday can be implemented. However, a cover page outlining the consultant’s responsibilities was provided, including the following tasks: (1) Management of projects and technical guidance. (2) Evaluation and alignment. (3) Public engagement. (4) Greenhouse gas inventory without foundation (5) A reporting toolbox for metrics. (6) Plan for climate action and resilience.

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