Retrofits for a better tomorrow

Jim Shaw is chairman of the Washoe County Board of Commissioners.

Citizens of Washoe County deserve to live in The commitment represents Washoe County’s continuing goal of regional leadership by creating innovative programs that will serve the needs of citizens and improve our community.

The County Commissioners recently approved an action plan developed by county staff that will be implemented during the next 12 months and is designed to strengthen our community’s quality of life. The plan contains five goals based on the 66 quality of life indicators selected by citizens in 1993. The indicators are in the Truckee Meadows Regional Plan and are used to help guide our region’s development. Truckee Meadows Tomorrow measures them to evaluate how our quality of life is changing and reports back to the community through its annual report. In fact, the cover of TMT’s annual report says it all: “You make a difference. We measure it.”

Washoe County is making a difference through five goals that meet our vision of an improved natural environment: reduced vehicle trips, reduced waste, energy conservation, water conservation and quality and public education about ways to improve our natural environment.

Many programs are already in place here at the county to meet these goals, and we will continue to expand upon them and encourage others to do the same. For example, the County Commissioners approved a $1.7 million lighting retrofit in order to save energy and reduce costs. The county is in the process of replacing fluorescent lighting with energy saving full-spectrum lighting expected to ultimately save thousands of dollars in energy costs and reduce consumption.

Serving as the model for this program is very important to us here at Washoe County, and we take our responsibility seriously. We are honored that Truckee Meadows Tomorrow has chosen us to be the lighthouse for this program. The purpose of committing to the compact is to promote the quality of life indicators and to encourage others to do the same. We cannot improve—or even maintain—our community’s quality of life without strong involvement from everyone.

Washoe County is a founding member of the nonprofit Truckee Meadows Tomorrow, a grassroots nonprofit organization comprised of members who want to make a difference in their community. TMT was established with a $750,000 five-year grant from Washoe Health System. For more information about the Quality of Life Compact, contact TMT at 982-4325.