Mapleton, Centre Wellington to hire climate change staffer

MAPLETON – Mapleton is set to spend almost $50,000 to share a climate change coordinator with the Township of Centre Wellington for one year. 

The municipal climate change staffer will gather environmental data, analyze climate change scenarios, identify key risks, and assess how to reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, conserve water and promote sustainable practices. 

Centre Wellington will hire the coordinator through a competitive process, and Mapleton will pay Centre Wellington $48,000 for 40 per cent of the services. 

Centre Wellington’s share of the bill is about $61,000. 

The position was included  in both townships’ 2024 budgets. 

The initial agreement is for one year, but the townships are likely to renew for future years, with an increased rate of 3% per year, “or such other amount agreed upon by the parties,” according to a fees for services agreement reviewed by Mapleton councillors on May 28. 

Council voted to authorize the mayor and clerk to execute the agreement, with everyone voting in favour but councillor Martin Tamlyn, who abstained. 

Councillor Michael Martin questioned the value of hiring the coordinator for any longer than a year. 

After analyzing data and coming up with proposals and solutions, “what’s going to be left?” he asked. 

“Would this not be better as a contract or one-off, versus having an annual position attributed to this type of initiative?” 

CAO Manny Baron said making it a long-term position will help the township secure grants. 

“Any type of grant that is now coming has a green energy condition on it,” he said. “And it’s ongoing – what initiatives are you doing yearly, what are you trying to improve?” 

He said the bar for environmental sustainability keeps getting higher and “more efficiencies have to be found.

“We don’t have to go past the one year,” he noted.

“But I can probably assure you that both levels of government – federal and provincial – will require a lot more green energy projects and initiatives in order to qualify for the grants that we are applying for.”