Westborough – Westborough recently announced that it has been awarded a 2020 Massachusetts Green Communities Competitive Grant for $153,876, to be used toward increasing municipal energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact. When combined with last year’s Green Community Designation Grant, Westborough will have received a total of $305,972 from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.
Sustainable Westborough spearheaded the grant application process, logging many volunteer hours in the compiling of information, the writing of the grant and the communication with the energy contractor who will execute the project work.
The grant funds will be put toward practical projects, such as upgrading to LED lighting in some municipal buildings, including Armstrong Elementary School, Town Hall, the Senior Center and the Fire Station. In addition, money from this grant will provide supplemental funding for two hybrid police cruisers, allowing Westborough to purchase hybrid vehicles for the cost of the non-hybrid version.
The total savings on electricity and gasoline bills from these projects is projected to be approximately $25,900 per year. In addition, making these changes will have a significant impact on the environment, with a reduction of about 61.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of more than 6,800 gallons per year of gasoline saved. These changes will also reduce other air pollutant emissions such as sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides, which lead to asthma and other respiratory problems.
Upon completion of this year’s projects, Sustainable Westborough can apply for additional Green Community grants from the state, with the potential to receive as much as $200,000 in next year’s competitive grant-funding round.
With the previous grant money from Green Communities, Westborough was able to complete projects including weatherization improvements and conversion to LED lighting. These projects were implemented at five schools, the Department of Public Works building, the Senior Center, the Forbes Building War Memorial and the Water Purification building. Weatherization projects included installation of attic air-barriers, weather stripping, caulking, insulation and installation of new windows.
Sustainable Westborough continues to partner with the Board of Selectmen, the School Department and other town department heads, in pursuit of an environmentally progressive and economically efficient town.
To learn more about Sustainable Westborough, visit www.town.westborough.ma.us/sustainable-westborough or on Facebook.