Fort Atkinson Focuses On Environmental Awareness

As residents in Fort Atkinson enjoy a spring-like day, fishing, riding bikes or walking, local government officials are working to protect the environment.

"I think energy prices has certainly brought it to the forefront we've been studying now since July and we think that there's some areas in the city that we can control and have an impact on," says John Wilmet, Fort Atkinson City Manager.

The city council unanimously passed a climate resolution. The resolution involves switching to bio-diesel, decreasing energy use in city buildings by setting back thermostats and promoting environmentally friendly transportation.

"We're going to spend some time encouraging people to use that, turn into a walkable community instead of driving," Wilmet said.

City officials say Fort Atkinson can set an example for neighboring cities, some residents are skeptical.

"If it's more expensive people are going to kind of shrug their shoulders at it I think. I think the bottom dollar that's what everybody looks at nowadays," says Fort Atkinson resident Ken Bosteder.

The city says the initiative will save taxpayers money. Many businesses are already on board.

"Some of our business comments saying they're in favor of it and they're doing things currently but they really aren't looking to have anymore regulations from the city," Wilmet said.

Even though the resolution passed, the city has to fine tune it, which is expected to take until sometime this summer.