Status and Timeline

We’re almost there!

November 22, 2019 – Green Community applications for the 2019 designation round due

November 12, 2019 – The Select Board will discuss and vote on Needham becoming a Green Community

November 6, 2019 – The Planning Board voted unanimously to support of Needham’s application to become a Green Community

November 5, 2019 – The School Committee voted unanimously to provide its support for the Green Community designation by adopting Town’s Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy and Energy Reduction plan. The School Committee has authority over school operations and the adopted school budget. It therefore shares the responsibility for Green Communities implementation.

November 4, 2019 – The Town Manager and members of the Select Board consulted with the Finance Committee on the Green Communities program.

October 16, 2019 – The Select Board held a public hearing on becoming a Green Community. The town task force presented its work on the energy reduction plan. Over 75 residents turned out, many spoke – all in favor. When asked, the audience as a whole expressed unanimous support for becoming a Green Community.

May 13, 2019 – Town Meeting voted to adopt the Stretch Energy code.

Background

In 2011-12, Green Needham and Town elected leaders and boards worked to have Needham become a Massachusetts Green Community.

We had the opportunity to be among the leaders taking concrete steps to fighting climate change and building a more sustainable and resilient community. We would have had access to grants to support municipal and school energy efficiency and reduction projects. Based on the experience of comparable communities that became Green Communities at that time, Needham has forgone $1 million in grants since then. 210 Massachusetts cities and towns are now Green Communities. We did not succeed in 2012. It is past time to correct that mistake.

Green Needham has been preparing the ground with Town leaders to have Needham become a Massachusetts Green Community in 2019. We are working with other community organizations and invite everyone to join us in supporting this effort.

Becoming a Green Community will not only address the larger problem of Climate Change, it will also provide the following benefits to Needham:

  • Receipt of an approximately $149,000 designation grant
  • Eligibility for annual $250,000 competitive grants
  • Annual energy savings that free up town resources to help fulfill other core missions
  • A more flexible, comprehensive approach to facilities and infrastructure management
  • Immediate savings to new home buyers in Needham through lower utility bills
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions

Resources

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