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Madison Names Sustainability Team

Published May 01, 2019

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The Board of Selectmen recently named a sustainability team to guide the town’s conservation and sustainability efforts. The team is tasked with, among other things, keeping and increasing Madison’s standing as a certified Sustainable CT community.

Sustainable CT is voluntary certification program, open to all municipalities, that aims to help towns build their local economies while protecting their natural resources.

According to the program mission statement, the goal is to “provide municipalities with a menu of coordinated, voluntary actions to continually become more sustainable; to provide resources and tools to assist municipalities in implementing sustainability actions and advancing their programs for the benefit of all residents; and to certify and recognize municipalities for their ongoing sustainability achievements.”

Last year was the first year the town applied to be a part of the program. The town received a bronze level certification and was recognized for actions taken in nine sustainable impact areas including assessing climate vulnerability by working with the Nature Conservancy to hold a community resilience building workshop, installing an electric vehicle charging station in the municipal parking lot behind the Madison Art Cinemas, and the installation of energy-efficient LED street lights throughout Town of Madison, according to the award announcement.

First Selectman Tom Banisch said the town wants to increase its award level and having a team on people on the job should be a step in the right direction.

“First of all, we want to go for gold,” he said. “What we found out last year is with [Director of Planning and Economic Development] Dave Anderson and [Energy & Efficiency Committee Chair] Woodie Weiss going for the certification, it’s a lot of work for two people and they put this committee together of people who would be committed.”

The BOS approved appointing five people to the committee including Weiss, Anderson, Energy & Efficiency Committee member Francis Pullaro, Conservation Commission member Fran Brady, and Southern Connecticut State University Sustainability Coordinator Suzie Huminski.

Within the program, towns can chose from a menu of actions to complete, such as growing affordable housing options, promoting effective parking management, or developing an open space plan, that then count for points toward a town’s final certification in the program. Banisch said that was taken into consideration when forming this team.

“All of these people all have their own expertise in different areas and these are areas where we can achieve points, significant amounts of points,” he said. “And having Suzie with us is going to be a bonus.”

The selectmen unanimously approved the list of proposed Madison Sustainability Team members.

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