Wareham Selectmen vote in favor of going ‘green’
Wareham Selectmen adopted two Green Community policies on Tuesday, Sept. 11, bringing the town another step closer to becoming a “Green Community” and significant grant opportunities as well as energy savings, according to officials.
“This is something we’ve been looking at for five or six years,” said Selectmen Chair Alan Slavin. “It’s time we stop putting it off.”
The policies, which were presented by Planning & Community Development Director Ken Buckland, call for replacing various municipal vehicles with energy-efficient ones and allowing renewable energy installations be built without special permitting. By earning a Green Community designation, Wareham will join 210 other cities and towns in Massachusetts with the title, which have earned more than $39 million in grants for energy projects.
These policies are two of five criteria that a town must meet in order to qualify as a Green Community. Others include adopting the Stretch Energy Building Code, requiring new construction meet high energy efficiency requirements, and having designated zoning for renewable energy sources such as solar fields, which Wareham has already done.
According to Buckland, the final piece would be creating a plan to decrease municipal energy consumption by 20 percent in five years. To do this, the town would have to establish an energy use baseline inventory for all municipal buildings and facilities including schools.
“We’re a step and a half away from joining them,” Slavin said. “I think those grants could make a big difference in our community.”