Edgartown is well on its way to becoming a state-recognized “green community,” thanks to the work of the energy committee chaired by Alan Strahler.
On Monday, Mr. Strahler shared with the select board the committee’s recommendations to reduce the town’s energy costs and usage using the $132,000 grant the committee received in June of this year.
The conservation measures, Mr. Strahler said, would amount to about $83,000 in energy costs saved each year, or about 27.6 homes powered. The presentation shared at the Oct. 3 select board meeting was based on findings from the past two years of energy audits.
Recommendations included a switch to demand-controlled ventilation at the Edgartown School, meaning that air circulation is triggered by carbon dioxide levels rather than operating on a timer, ensuring that they don’t operate wastefully. Another pressure point was the school’s high-luminosity LED lights, which the committee recommended replacing with remote-controlled dimmable lighting.
“The lights were just too bright,” Mr. Strahler told the board. “Some teachers were even covering them up with pieces of cloth.”
The committee also recommended new wastewater pumps that would save the town roughly $20,000 per year. By using some of the committee’s funding to apply for a grant, Mr. Strahler said, the committee could receive $200,000 of the $400,000 necessary to add additional pumps.
The board voted to approve the energy committee’s funding recommendations.
To further support energy efficiency throughout the Island, the select board appointed Mr. Strahler at his request to the Island-wide Eversource Working Group.
“It seems we’ll have to double our grid here by 2040, and we want to make sure that Eversource will be anticipating those needs,” Mr. Strahler said of the working group’s inception.
The select board also approved a restructuring of the municipal harbor management committee to include a wider variety of interests and stakeholders.
“We would like to update it to include climate resiliency, shellfish, planning board, Memorial Wharf, marina advisory…all to combine to form the Harbor Management Committee,” town administrator James Hagerty said.
Mr. Hagerty offered to reach out to the various groups and coordinate their representatives. The select board approved his request and his recommendations for candidates.
“It’s going to be a busy committee,” select board member Margaret Serpa said.
In his town administrator report, Mr. Hagerty shared that the engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill is set to begin their survey of the area around the Chappaquiddick ferry on Tuesday of this week. Although the surveyors will only be on site two days, the process will take the better part of a year, he said.
Al’s Package Store will also come under new ownership soon, although the select board postponed the change of ownership and liquor hearing to early November due to scheduling conflicts. Select board member Mike Donaroma said he will abstain from the vote as a leaser in the same building where Al’s operates.
The select board will vote on a proposed date and time for the hearing in the next few weeks.
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