Fourteen Midwestern mayors, including four from Iowa, are making a commitment to take action to reduce climate risks, an act they say will protect the future of their communities.
Clinton Mayor Mark is among the Iowa leaders who signed The Path to Positive Proclamation, pledging to prepare for climate change and promote solutions that advance prosperity for their cities and citizens.
“We have a population that’s growing and we still are going to have the same amount of land on which to grow our food, so we have to come up with ways to increase food production without destroying the environment by increasing the chemicals that we’re putting into the ground,” Mayor Vulich says. “The nitrogen that’s going into the ground right now is contaminating our water.” A delicate balance needs to be maintained, he says, to feed the world without destroying the world in the process.
“Things can be done on a local basis, things that the climate is changing, that is going to impact each city differently,” Vulich says. “The whole purpose with the mayors was the fact that we’re the local leaders of our community, to get us involved.” Mayors primarily along the Mississippi River signed the pact, from Saint Louis to Saint Paul.
One of the goals is to get the federal government involved, he says, as individual cities can’t bear the costs to make major improvements on their own. “Clinton has already started, we’re ahead of a lot of the other cities,” Vulich says. “We have this wastewater treatment plant that, yes, we went into debt with it, but we are meeting the new nitrate reductions that other cities haven’t even started to try to attain.”
Other Iowa mayors who signed the pact include: Roy Buol of Dubuque, Russell Loven of Guttenberg and Sonya Paddock of Riverdale.
By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton