By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Northumberland County council got an update this week on two timely initiatives that are nearing completion – the county’s branding project and its climate-change strategy.
Director of Communications Kate Campbell said the branding project had begun in 2018, following initial research to assess the Northumberland brand, “to inform efforts to strengthen the county’s brand and further position the community to attract development investment, employment talent and tourist interest.”
Extensive work has been done since then, Campbell said, listing some results.
“Strategic and innovative tourism marketing has resulted in progressively increasing traction,” she said.
An active digital strategy has resulted in funding opportunities and partnerships to extend connectivity, while affordable housing has become a key priority.
“The county will be in an improved position to develop a compelling and integrated joint strategy as early as 2023,” she estimated.
“It’s important we keep our eye on this,” Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson said, noting that the process is taking longer than he would like.
Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Moore said a report on climate change can be expected in April with three main categories – actions, policy and advocacy.
Manager of Environmental and Technical Services Adam McCue said the first two categories will tackle how the county can mitigate and reduce emissions it is currently generating, and how to deal with changes to come (since even the most effective mitigation measures will not stop all impacts).
Emissions the county is responsible for largely come down to their gasoline-powered vehicles and energy use in their physical facilities, McCue noted.
As much as possible, they are beginning to replace their current vehicles with electric models – except, for now, emergency-type vehicles and larger vehicles where alternatives are not advisable.
And they are working on a policy that will commit the county in all its construction and upgrades to net-zero or near-net-zero standards.
“These are the two big things, and we are looking at advocating for standards to be developed for rental housing with cooling requirements,” he said.
“There are heating requirements now, where premises must be kept to a certain temperature. We would like to advocate on behalf of tenants for a maximum threshold, so temperatures don’t climb up into the 90s in rental units.”
McCue says plans for the report to that will be presented to council in April include resiliency strategies.