Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

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Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby dougsears on Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:54 pm

July 19, 2011 - For immediate release:

Patrick-Murray Administration Designates 21 New "Green Communities" Across the Commonwealth

Third round of cities and towns named clean energy leaders; now eligible for municipal renewable power and energy efficiency grants

Map of Green Communities

BOSTON — July 19, 2010 – The Patrick-Murray Administration today named 21 cities and towns from western Massachusetts to Cape Cod as “Green Communities,” making these communities eligible for over $3.7 million in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.

Ayer, Bedford, Brookline, Buckland, Carlisle, Deerfield, Granby, Holland, Mendon, Middlefield, Millbury, Monson, Revere, Sherborn, Shutesbury, Somerville, Sutton, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Truro, and Woburn join 53 other cities and towns named in previous rounds of Green Communities designations – bringing the total number of official Green Communities to 74.

“We are making real progress in achieving a clean energy future for the Commonwealth, one community at a time,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “These investments encourage energy savings, create jobs and protect our environment – boosting our economy and improving our quality of life.”

“Our Administration is proud to partner with cities and towns as we continue to promote clean energy initiatives across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “These newly designated Green Communities will join 53 other municipalities that are moving forward with renewable and efficient energy projects to help build a more sustainable and healthier environment for Massachusetts.”

The Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, which is a result of the Green Communities Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that win Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks:

Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows “as-of-right siting” for renewable and/or alternative energy R & D facilities, manufacturing facilities or generation units;

· Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;

· Establishing a municipal energy use baseline and a program to reduce use by 20 percent within five years;

· Purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable; and

· Requiring all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to reduce lifecycle energy costs (i.e., adoption of an energy-saving building “stretch code”).

“This program rewards cities and towns that face their energy challenges by adopting green energy practices, which reduce energy costs for municipal residents and create sustainable energy solutions for municipal operations,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

June 10, 2011 was the deadline for municipalities to apply for Green Community designation in order to qualify for approximately $3.7 million in Green Communities grants. Communities designated today have until August 19, 2011 to submit applications for grants that will be awarded later this year.

“These projects serve as examples of smart energy use and renewable energy practices in communities across the Commonwealth – from installing solar arrays and energy efficient lighting in municipal buildings to purchasing hybrid vehicles for municipal fleets,” DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia said.

Using a formula that caps awards at $1 million and provides each community with a $125,000 base grant - plus additional amounts based on per capita income and population, and for municipalities that meet Green Communities Criterion 1 for energy generation, DOER notified the selected communities of their eligibility for the following funding:

Ayer $151,175

Bedford $148,150

Brookline $215,050

Buckland $134,150

Carlisle $139,300

Deerfield $142,950

Granby $144,125

Holland $143,250

Mendon $145,925

Middlefield $138,025

Millbury $167,025

Monson $165,975

Revere $366,600

Sherborn $137,450

Shutesbury $142,275

Somerville $362,175

Sutton $143,050

Tewksbury $207,725

Topsfield $132,975

Truro $141,200

Woburn $231,925

In addition to grant eligibility, each Green Community designated today will also receive a certificate from the Commonwealth, four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community, and at least one Big Belly solar trash compactor for municipal use.

Click here for more information on DOER’s Green Communities program.
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby Little Willie on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:05 pm

where exactly does that money go??
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby moretpani on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:10 pm

A) Some ones pocket
B) Pension Fund
C) Senior Center
D) All of the above
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby kmagyoyo on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:32 am

I love it when liberals use our tax dollars and the power of government to make them feel good about themselves.

Rumor has it that these are going to be our new police cruisers:

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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby bferrari on Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:36 am

I believe this is fluff to allow this:

Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows “as-of-right siting” for renewable and/or alternative energy R & D facilities, manufacturing facilities or generation units;

· Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;



In other words, power plants. Although the terms "alternative energy" is used in this, we all know that there will always be "ways around" these "restrictions". Do you think it's convenient that we suddenly received this designation and oh look, there is talk of some power plant in Tewksbury. Nothing the government does is by accident.
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby bferrari on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:47 am

We are such a Green Town, that we have refused to allow the Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) to pass through Tewksbury.

Give me a break. We are being payed off with $207,725 so that we can fast track utilities or whatever else the government seems fit to slap into our town. Reminds me a lot of the Mills Mall and their offering us an ambulance to allow the Mega Mall to be built. Meanwhile other towns were getting millions of dollars.
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby dougsears on Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:41 pm

Newly green, city reaches for the sun

By John Laidler Globe Correspondent / July 21, 2011


Even as Woburn this week earned state designation as a green community, the city is pursuing a plan to locate a solar farm at its former landfill.

The city would lease the land to a developer to build and operate the solar facility on the approximately 50-acre Merrimack Street site, which includes the 39-acre former landfill, 6 to 7 acres of clean, usable land, and several acres of wetlands.

As a first step, the City Council is considering creating an overlay solar district covering the landfill area, allowing ground-mounted solar panels to be installed at the site.

Mayor Scott D. Galvin said locating a solar facility on the old landfill could generate economic benefits to the city, including income from the lease and the chance to purchase low-cost power.
Should the council approve creating the solar district, Stanton said the city would issue a formal request for proposals from firms interested in developing a facility.

“I don’t think we will have any problem generating interest,’’ Stanton said. “I probably get a call from a solar company about that site at least once a week.’’

Although the proposed ordinance would allow solar facilities by right, it would still require any project calling for 250 kilowatts or more to undergo site plan review by the City Council, which would involve a public hearing.

The plan for a solar farm has the support of Ward 6 Alderman Michael L. Raymond, whose district includes the landfill area. Raymond and Ward 2 Alderman Richard F. Gately Jr. cosponsored the zoning proposal now before the council, which was developed by Galvin’s administration.

Raymond, who planned to make an initial presentation of the solar district proposal at the council’s meeting Tuesday, said that the landfill area “is neglected right now.

“There should be some use of the land. . . . I feel that a solar farm is the best long-term use of the property.’’

In addition to the economic benefits to the city, Raymond said he envisions a solar farm as an educational resource, saying that students from local schools could be brought to the site to see how a renewable energy facility is built and operated.

“I think it’s the right thing to do. It would be a great legacy for our grandchildren.’’

Raymond attended a workshop that the state Department of Energy Resources sponsored for municipalities last year on the development of renewable energy facilities on closed landfills. He said he was inspired to hear about a project in PennsaukenTownship, N.J.

He said he also learned from state officials that there are other Massachusetts communities working to convert landfills to renewable energy use.

Raymond noted that the idea of a solar project at the Woburn landfill dates back at least to 2004. But he said the strong support the idea is now receiving, including from the mayor, aldermen, and other city officials, gives it new momentum, adding that neighbors have also expressed support for the plan.
“It’s something that seems to be the wave of the future. Renewable energy is definitely something that the city, state, and country have to work harder to develop,’’ he said. “Gas prices keep going up, oil prices keep going up. Alternative energy is something that can help alleviate the dependence on fossil fuels.’’

Woburn’s interest in clean energy also is reflected in the green community designation it received by the state Department of Energy Resources, a distinction cities and towns earn by undertaking initiatives to become more energy-efficient and expand their use of renewable energy.

With the designation, Woburn is eligible to apply for a share of an upcoming round of $231,000 in state funds to carry out energy projects, according to city purchasing agent Sarah A. Stanton. She said the city plans to submit an application by the Aug. 11 deadline and is optimistic about securing funds.

Should it move forward with development of a solar farm, as a green community the city would be eligible to apply for additional state grant money, Stanton said.

The Merrimack Street site was used as a municipal landfill from 1966 until it ceased operation in 1985. It underwent capping and closure between 1999 and 2006. The site has a 70-foot high elevation, with steep side slopes and a relatively flat top of about 10 acres, according to the city.

The decision to seek a solar development at the site was spurred by response to an invitation the city issued last year to prospective users of the landfill area. Of 12 groups submitting plans, 10 proposed solar projects, Stanton said.

Because of the strict limits state regulations place on reusing a capped landfill site, and because of other constraints relating to the size and shape of the site, energy generation is one of the few uses that would be feasible on the property, Stanton said. She said a wind facility was ruled out because there is not adequate wind at that location.
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby Little Willie on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:19 am

Doug can you tell us where this money would go if you know thank you
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby Zeebamom on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:55 am

Does this mean that a solar farm would/could/is going to be considered for the South St area?
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby mike_flynn on Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:04 am

Who authorizes the spending of this money?

... Town Manager?
... Green Committee?
... Town Meeting?
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby dougsears on Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:10 am

My understanding is that Tewksbury is eligible for $207,725 in grants; however, we have until August 19 to send in grant applications for proposed energy-efficient projects -- then wait to see if these are accepted. Go to the Green Committee' meeting 6:15 p.m. at the Tewksbury Senior Center to learn more.

--------------------------------------------------

Tewksbury grows into a 'Green Community'
By Joyce Tsai, jtsai@lowellsun.com
Posted: 07/22/2011 07:38:12 AM EDT


TEWKSBURY -- It's official: Tewksbury is now "going green."

After about two years of hard work, Tewksbury was named this week as a "Green Community" by the state, making it eligible for $207,725 in grants for local renewable power and energy-efficiency projects.

It is one of 21 communities, that include Bedford, Carlisle, Somerville and Woburn, that were named this week as Green Communities, for which there are 74 statewide.

"Obviously I'm very pleased with it," said Anne Marie Stronach, Green Committee chairman and a selectman, who has been keenly involved with efforts to win the environmental designation. "And a lot of people worked really hard to get it done."

She said that the town originally thought it would receive $155,000 in grants, based on previous grant awards -- but was pleasantly surprised to learn it would be getting $50,000 more than expected.

That's welcome news for the town, which has had to contend with cash-strapped budgets over the past few years, she said.

The town plans to use the money to align with its five-year capital improvement plan that it drafted this budget season, she said. And in doing so, it will be able to purchase more energy-efficient equipment, which will save even more money in the long term for the town.

"All I know is we're going to get something that wasn't in the budget earlier -- and we are going to take care of things that need to be addressed," she said.

The committee, however, has a short turnaround time to get its grant applications for proposed energy-efficient projects in less than 30 days, with an Aug. 19 deadline for submissions looming.

The Green Committee plans to meet Tuesday to hear and discuss suggestions for what it should submit as potential grant projects for the town. The meeting is at 6:15 p.m. at the Tewksbury Senior Center.


Director of Community Development Steve Sadwick said the designation is an important accomplishment for the town, that will help to stretch the town dollars a little further while making it a more energy-efficient community. Additional funding rounds in the future should make even more money available for the town's use, he said.

Tewksbury will join the Greater Lowell communities Ayer, Lowell, Chelmsford, Andover and Tyngsboro in being awarded this distinction, he said.

The money comes from the Department of Energy Resources' Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, which uses funding from industry -- not residential taxpayers. The money comes from auctions of carbon emissions, which are used to reward these communities for meeting five clean energy benchmarks set by the state.

These benchmarks include the adoption of an expedited permitting process related to so-called "as-of-right" facilities for renewable and alternative energy research and development, the establishment of a municipal program that will reduce energy use by 20 percent by local government within five years, the commitment to purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, when possible, and the adoption of a so-called stretch energy code, which requires energy-saving construction for new residential, commercial and industrial construction. The stretch energy code, which was passed in May at Town Meeting, was the last benchmark the town needed to meet to apply for the designation.

These communities are partnering with the state to protect the environment and save energy and they are "moving forward with renewable and efficient energy projects that help to build a more sustainable and healthier environment for Massachusetts," Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray said in a statement congratulating the newly designated Green Communities.

"The ultimate goal is to reduce our energy consumption and increase our sustainability," Stronach said.

"And it's nice to see Tewksbury on the cutting edge," she said. "We are being visionary as a town and taking advantage of something that we are going to have to comply with anyway" in the future.
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Re: Tewksbury's Green Community Designation

Postby swamper on Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:05 pm

From TewksburyPatch:

http://tewksbury.patch.com/articles/tew ... ity-status

Tewksbury Officially Earns 'Green Community' Status

Town will be eligible for more than $200,000 in state grants.

By Bill Gilman
Email the author
3:51pm

Kermit the Frog sang that, "it's not easy being green." But it's got to be easier than getting there.

After a long, arduous process involving the cooperative efforts of several town departments and two Town Meeting votes, Tewsksbury officials received word this week that the town had officially been designated as a Green Community.

As a result, Tewksbury will be eligible for up to $207,725 in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects.

"This is great news," said Selectwoman Ann-Marie Stronach, who serves as chairwoman of the Green Committee. "This was a lot of hard word and every single member of the committee contributed."

Of the five crtiteria required to achieve Green Community status, the one that provided the most problems was the Stretch Energy Code, which puts certain energy efficiency requirements on new construction projects and some improvement projects. The measure was defeated by residents at a Special Town Meeting in October but was approved at the Annual Town Meeting in May.

Tewksbury was one of 21 cities and towns to earn Green Community status this year, bringing the overall total in the commonwealth to 74.

“This is a great opportunity for Tewksbury. This initiative promotes energy savings and job creation, two things I have been a strong advocate for,” said state Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover. “There are many enhancements the town is now eligible for, including installing solar panels or energy efficient lighting in municipal buildings or purchasing hybrid vehicles for municipal fleets. There are so many possibilities that will bring down energy costs for Tewksbury and better the environment.”

“We are all working hard to make sure Tewksbury’s financial base starts growing significantly,” added state Rep. Jim Miceli, D-Wilmington. “The ‘Green Community’ designation helps our cause dramatically. The potential infusion of state funding will make us eligible for further investment.”

Stronach and Town Manager Richard Montuori said the Green Committee will be meeting next week to review the plan and discuss where to apply the funds. The town has until Aug. 19, to submit applications for grants that will be awarded later this year.

“The Board of Selectmen is always pushing for new ways to better the town. Becoming a ‘Green Community’ is a valuable resource that Tewksbury will surely take full advantage of. I look forward to working with the Green Committee on their plans to utilize these funds and thank the delegation for fighting for Tewksbury’s interests,” said Todd Johnson, chairman of the Tewksbury Board of Selectmen.

In all, $3.7 million in grant money will be distributed to the 74 cities and towns with Green Community status. These grants are funded through a Federal program.

Accoding to the office of Gov. Deval Patrick, each Green Community designated this week will also receive a certificate from the Commonwealth, four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community, and at least one Big Belly solar trash compactor for municipal use.

“We are making real progress in achieving a clean energy future for the Commonwealth, one community at a time,” said Gov. Deval Patrick. “These investments encourage energy savings, create jobs and protect our environment – boosting our economy and improving our quality of life.”

In addition to Stronach, members of the Tewksbury Green Committee include Robert Fowler, Marc Ginsburg, James Duffy, Joseph Cary, Brian Dick, Thomas Cooke, Krissy Polimeno and Planning Director Steve Sadwick.
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