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Peabody Green Community Saga: City Provides Update

It has taken fifteen years for Peabody to get this far in the Green Community process – and, it’s not a done deal yet. The final vote of the City Council to make Peabody a Green Community is anticipated to take place at the Council’s meeting on September 28.

The City no longer expects to make the Green Community competitive grant application deadline of October 20 because they learned they can’t apply for grants until we use the $250,000 the city will gain for becoming a designated green community. Peabody Community Development Director Curt Bellavance said the CIty is prepared to submit the city’s designation application before the deadline in late December.

The City Council voted to advertise the ordinance on August 24 and the correspondence submitted for the next meeting provides a detailed progress report. Yet to be completed is the baseline energy audit of municipal buildings and structures. “The energy audit is taking longer than was originally estimated by the auditor. Obtaining access to all 28 municipal buildings and structures represented part of the delay. We expect the baseline audit to be complete by the first week of October,” said Bellavance.

The next step is to conduct a five-year energy reduction plan for city buildings. Peabody received a META (Municipal Energy Technical Assistance) grant from MAPC (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) to complete the energy reduction plan. Bellavance said MAPC’s plan will be completed “within a few weeks. Efforts are being made to expedite completion of these remaining tasks which, in both cases, are being handled by third parties.”

Will there be public meetings to inform the community of the plan being developed?

Councilor Peter McGinn has asked Community Development to provide the Council with suggested project ideas to fund with Green Community adoption dollars.

BCNS is contemplating our suggested projects and, currently topping the list, is hiring a director of sustainability. What is the energy/sustainability need you think the forthcoming Green Community funds could be used for in Peabody?

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