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Granby, Belchertown, others latest to land Green Communities grants

  • Granby Junior/Senior High School is one of five school buildings that will see energy efficient upgrades thanks to a Green Communities grant recently awarded by the state. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO



For the Bulletin
Friday, July 27, 2018

GRANBY — Several towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties have landed grant money for clean energy projects in their communities.

The local grants, ranging from about $248,000 for Granby to $47,000 for Belchertown, are part of $14.7 million handed out by the state to 80 communities.

Granby will use its $248,702 to make five town-owned buildings, including the Junior Senior High School and the Council on Aging, more energy efficient, according to Energy Committee Chairman Jay Joyce.

After changes on these buildings are made, Granby’s carbon footprint should decrease by 8 percent, according to the Department of Energy Resources. Joyce said that Granby also received $40,373 from National Grid for applying energy saving incentives, bringing the total funding to improve the efficiency of municipal buildings to $289,075.

Belchertown will use its $46,897 for a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning heat pump sytem and LED lighting at the Family Center.

Deerfield, meanwhile, received $116,082, of which about $100,000 will go to upgrading its elementary school’s insulation, heating and lighting, said Town Administrator Wendy Foxmyn. “We’re really thrilled at how it turned out,” Foxmyn said, referring to the sum Deerfield was awarded. She credited it to Energy Committee Chairman David Gilbert-Keith.

Other communities to receive grants include Pelham at $31,059 and Williamsburg at $28,149.

Cities and towns must meet several criteria to be designated a “Green Community” and be eligible for funding. These criteria include passing zoning and approving an expedited application and permitting for alternative energy generating facilities, minimizing the amount of energy used to construct new buildings, purchasing hybrid or electric vehicles for municipal use and ultimately reaching 20 percent reduction in energy use after five years.

Material from the Greenfield Recorder contributed to this report.