Deep River Eyes Sustainable CT Participation
Deep River is considering participating in a free, state-run program intended to increase towns’ economic and cultural vitality while minimizing negative environmental impacts. On Feb. 25, the Board of Selectmen heard from a representative of Sustainable CT.
“We provide basically a roadmap of best practices in tools and technical support to implement sustainability,” said Sustainable CT Executive Director Lynn Stoddard in an interview with the Courier.
The free program enables towns to earn two different levels of certification, which are dependent on completing actions from a total of nine environment- and community-related categories.
With some recent town projects, such as the energy upgrades at the elementary school, “we are already on our way to some of the certification points,” said First Selectman Angus McDonald.
The organization also helps municipalities raise funds through a Community Match Fund program, up to 50 percent of the total cost of the project.
“I know our Parks and Rec [Department] needs some equipment, so we could work with them toward that,” said McDonald.
Other focus areas for the town include “energy consumption, that is some of our biggest concerns, waste is another one…brownfields. We don’t have a lot of that, but we’ll look into [it]…Being a member will make us more aware of some of those things,” said McDonald.
In order to get started with Sustainable CT, “we have a resolution that we drafted that the town can use to take to their board of selectman or governing body. It simply says the town is interested in pursuing sustainability,” said Stoddard.
Once the resolution is adopted, the town registers for the program and designates an individual or forms a committee to formally liaise with Sustainable CT.
“Probably at our next meeting [we would] adopt a resolution that moves Deep River toward certification, toward [membership with] Sustainable CT,” said McDonald.
Since the program’s inception two years ago, 101 towns in Connecticut have registered as participants with Sustainable CT, including neighboring Chester; Essex and Old Saybrook have already earned bronze-level certification.