Swampscott deemed Green Community

SWAMPSCOTT – Swampscott is one of only 53 communities in the state that have been designated as a Green Community.On Dec. 16, the town was one of 18 municipalities that was accepted as a Green Community by the state.Tara Gallagher, who served as chairman of the Renewable Energy Committee until last week, said the entire committee is thrilled.?We are so excited,” Gallagher said. “We have been working on this for at least two years. It is a great exciting program. We’re very proud that Swampscott is one of the leaders in this program.”Gallagher explained there were five criteria the town had to meet by Nov. 19 in order to become a Green Community.There was a required energy baseline inventory for all municipal energy use and a commitment to reduce town energy usage by 20 percent during the next five years.The town also adopted the required efficiency and procurement policy for town vehicles and adopted a stretch energy code, which is an energy efficient building code that will apply to all new construction and renovations.In October, a special Town Meeting passed zoning change articles the town needed to adopt in order to receive the Green Community designation.Green Communities Division Director Mark D. Sylvia said the Green Community designation is something the town should be proud of.?This designation is quite an achievement,” Sylvia said. “The town of Swampscott is now an energy leader in Massachusetts, poised to reduce its energy costs, improve the local environment and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with funding through the Green Communities Grant Program.”Sylvia said the town is eligible for a grant of $143,800. In order to receive the grant, the town must submit a project application detailing how the grant will be used.Gallagher added the town will be receiving a solar powered trash compactor and four metal “Green Community” signs.?This is fantastic,” Gallagher said. “We want to thank all the Town Meeting members who voted. This is quite an accomplishment and we’re leaders in the state.”Town Engineer Victoria Masone, who is the town liaison on the Renewable Energy Committee, said the committee is charged with making recommendations about how the grant money should be used.?We had some energy efficiency projects that came out of the energy audit a year ago,” she said. “We are looking at using some of the grant money for lighting retrofits and lighting controls at the high school. We also need to replace steam traps at the Clarke and Stanley Schools. There is so much in town that needs to be done.”Masone said the committee will be prioritizing possible projects to see what energy improvements will get the town the most bang for its buck.

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