It's not easy being green and in Massachusetts it's even harder. Only 123 out of 351 cities and towns are dubbed a "Green Community" by the Commonwealth and Wrentham isn't one. But Charlie Kennedy, a Wrentham Selectmen, is looking into whether or not to pursue an effort to get the town the special designation which will open the door to grants and funding opportunities all related to becoming more energy efficient.
At the suggestion of the other members of the Board of Selectmen, Kennedy is reaching out to the community for some feedback. If it's positive, he'd like to move forward and form a Town Energy Advisory Committee. "Is this a good idea?" Kennedy is asking. "Do people want to help? I'm looking to gauge the public's interest."
There are five major criteria that a town or city must meet to be dubbed a "Green Community". The town must provide zoning for renewable and alternative energy development, adopt an expedited application and permit process for energy facilities, establish an energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce energy use by twenty percent (20%) within five (5) years, purchase fuel-efficient vehicles, and strengthen building codes relating to energy efficiency in new constructions.
Kennedy believes it's a good effort to pursue. By achieving the designation, the town would be eligible for grants related to energy efficiency which he believes will save money. "I'm 100 % on board to make this happen," he says. "It will save money, it's better for the environment and the state will provide the town grants."
Right now, Kennedy is seeking thoughts from people that might be interested in serving on a committee. He hopes people with a background in engineering, energy fields, and other disciplines with experience in alternative energy will step up. He would like to see a committee formed with residents and members of different departments within the town including Department of Public Works, Building Commissioner, Board of Selectmen and Planning Board.
Residents are invited to email Kennedy with their thoughts and interest in helping. Kennedy can be reached via email at [email protected].