Clinton Seeks to Improve Best Practice, Seek Grants With Help of Sustainable CT
In an effort to improve the livability of Clinton the town will once again participate in the Sustainable CT program.
The Town Council is seeking to formalize the group and its membership.
The program is a voluntary certification program that encourages towns to improve best practices and seek grant opportunities that help promote the quality of life of the town and its citizens.
Sustainable CT rewards towns for taking actions that fall into categories like protecting the environment, improving planning, improving transportation, and improving infrastructure among other actions.
At a virtual Town Council meeting held on July 1, the council received a presentation from Sam Gold of the RiverCOG who explained more about the program.
Gold explained that a benefit to participating in the program is that it opens the town up for grant opportunities to fund projects that can improve the town as a whole. Additionally, the towns that participate in the program all share best practices with each other so towns can see what ideas worked and then choose to implement them into their own communities.
In the spring 2018, the then Board of Selectmen actually formed a sustainability committee to work on the actions outlined by the Sustainable CT program. However, Chris Aniskovich, the Town Council chairman, said the charges that governed the group were not clearly defined, and neither were the members who currently serve on the committee. For example, former First Selectman Christine Goupil was an ex officio member of the committee, but once her term expired in November that was no longer the case. The blue book in the Town Clerk’s office (the official document that tracks board and commission members) listed five official members of the committee as of July 1.
The council voted to define the parameters of the committee and to require the committee will provide updates to the council every six months. The committee will aim to recommend to the council action items that balance environmental protection with economic development and social objectives. The committee will also commit to pursuing strategies to reduce solid waste in town and ones that encourage clean and cost-effective energy solutions.
The council voted to wait until its next meeting to officially name members to the committee. The council members said they would contact the previous committee members to see if they were still interested in serving on the committee. The new committee will have seven total members.
Paul Gebauer was the chairman of the previous committee and said he was unaware that the council would be discussing reappointing the committee at its meeting. He also said he was surprised to learn the council felt it needed to reappoint the committee. “We got a lot of stuff done and we pushed some good stuff through,” said Gebauer.
Asked for a favorite accomplishment, Gebauer pointed to the creation of an arts council and an arts district in Clinton. The creation of the arts district was done to bring the various independent artistic endeavors together to facilitate growth. It was also done as a way to spread awareness of the different arts in town so that people interested in art would hopefully come and spend more time in Clinton. “I think that’s something we can stick a feather in,” said Gebauer.