Green Communities efforts underway in city

WESTFIELD—Officials are getting ready to finalize their efforts toward finishing their energy efficiency efforts in several different aspects throughout the city.

Efforts to utilize grant funding from the Green Communities program through the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) are nearing conclusion, with an expectation to be done by mid-Spring the latest, according to Westfield Director of Facilities Bryan Forrette. The funding is being used for a number of energy efficiency projects in several schools and other city buildings, as well as for a hybrid vehicle.

The Green Communities grant money was first presented to Westfield officials by state officials in March, which is when this photograph is from. From left to right: Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton, Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan, Westfield director of facilities Bryan Forrette, Westfield city advancement officer Joe Mitchell, Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson (from March 2017).

“We are starting to move forward with everything, finalizing the contracts,” Forrette said.

“Everything will be done before May 31 the latest, maybe sooner,” he added.

Forrette said the efforts to spend the grant money have already started, with more energy efficient steam traps being installed at the Westfield Technical Academy’s middle campus, which utilizes steam power.

However, the bulk of the funds will be used on a number of projects. Among the projects are the following, according to Forrette:

-North Middle School gymnasium lighting is being replaced with LED fixtures

-Westfield High School gymnasium, pool and locker room are being fitted for new ballasts and LED lighting

-Head Start on Southampton Road, as well as Munger Hill, North Middle, Paper Mill, South Middle, Westfield High School and Westfield Technical Academy are receiving new cooler and freezer controls that will monitor temperatures for efficiency

-The Department of Public Works’ Twiss Street maintenance garage is having LED lighting installed for the entire building

-The Westfield Fire Department headquarters will be receiving modernized roofing insulation and weatherproofing, as well as replacing exit and entry doors

-Purchasing a hybrid Ford Fusion Energy for a yet-to-be-specified replacement of a city vehicle

The city received $266,565 from the DOER for the projects, which first came during a ceremony in Chicopee last March. The city was one of 30 communities that received the funding last year, including the nearby communities of Blandford and Granville.

The state can provide up to $20 million combined annually to communities through the program.

In addition to the funding, the city also received two rebates that totaled just over $30,000 from Westfield G&E due to the energy efficiency efforts, according to Forrette.

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