Arlington Energy Committee Meeting Minutes 3.15.21

Arlington Energy Committee meeting

March 15, 2021 via Zoom

Next meeting: March 29, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom:  https://arlingtonvermont.communitybydiligent.com/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&id=90

Present: Stephanie Moffett-Hynds (Chair), Mary Ann Carlson, Mardi Crane, Bryan Dalton (notes), Alexandra Ernst, Karen Lee, Garrett Siegel.

Guests:

·      Town Administrator Nick Zaiac

·      Students in the STEM Academy of Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, MI and Mr. Austin Krieg, their teacher

·      Members of the public.

Summary:

·      Town Hall LED: We voted to recommend to the Select Board at their April 5 meeting that they convert Town Hall to LED lights. Bryan will prepare our pitch, using the presentation by the STEM students, who may join in.

·      Window Dressers: venues and volunteers needed for a build sometime in 2021.

·      By-laws: draft will be ready by 3/29 meeting.

·      Red Mountain: AEC won’t take action as a committee because there is not time, but individuals will email their input to Nick for the Select Board’s 3/22 meeting.

Discussion:

Town Hall LED: Bryan moved, Karen seconded, and the committee voted unanimously to recommend the Select Board convert Town Hall’s lighting to LED. Nick put the item on the SB April 5 agenda. Bryan will prepare the presentation for us to finalize in our meeting on 3/29, using (and giving credit to) the excellent PowerPoint presentation by the STEM students. The AEC thanked the students and Mr. Krieg effusively, and sees bright futures them in green consulting!

Mr. Krieg reported the students are developing a formula that any individual, company or municipality could use to conduct an energy audit to determine how to save money, energy and carbon emissions.

Window Dressers:

Next Northshire WD Zoom is 3/17 at 8 AM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84350670981?pwd=RGJROHQvTHk3MEVKaGZyWjI5SmR0dz09

Meeting ID: 843 5067 0981

Passcode: 885148

Next Bennington County Window Dressers (both Northshire and Southshire groups) will meet on March 30 at 5:30pm.

AEC members and public please consider participating as Measurer, Outreach, or Builder.

Steph ran a video showing a WD project in Maine that summarized how building window inserts helps people save money, tighten up their houses, reduce their carbon impact, and build community. 

She reported the Bennington County Regional Commission was submitting a grant request to support two WD builds in the County this year, one in the Northshire including Arlington, coordinated by Jim Salsgiver, and one in the Southshire coordinated by Bruce Lierman.

Each Shire would need to raise $1000 – $1500 to supplement the grant.

Ideas needed for spaces at least 30’ x 50’ in Manchester, Arlington, Sunderland, Sandgate or Dorset we could use for all 5 days of the build plus some preparation days, with heat, electricity and bathrooms. Suggestions included the West Mountain Inn barn if not occupied by an event, the East Arlington Federated Church annex building (former Methodist sanctuary), the American Legion, the vacant former Catholic Church, or QuadraTek’s building.

Steph is Volunteers coordinator for the Northshire build; direct potential volunteers to her. Every 5-day build involves ten four-hour shifts requiring ten to twelve volunteers each, which can include people building inserts for their homes.

Jeff Dexter from the Sunderland energy committee is Outreach coordinator. We want to encourage people of all incomes to take advantage of the opportunity.

People can pay 100% for their inserts, or have part or all of the cost covered if they need it.  Measurers go to each house to measure windows, and can explore with each household whether they need help paying. The goal is for 30% of the inserts to go to households with low incomes. Up to 22% of inserts may be free of charge.

We need to approach local banks and businesses for donations and volunteer support from their employees. Steph is contacting Mack Molding.  Jeff Dexter is contacting Orvis. Students are welcome; BBA students may not use school time but can participate on their own time.

By-laws: Karen reported there is progress on the draft, which will be ready by 3/29.

Red Mountain – proposed Town Forest:

Nick explained the SB meeting on 3/22 will be the final opportunity for public comment, which is eagerly sought, especially solutions to issues around access, parking and perpetual maintenance. Proposals for the Town buying the land always have foreseen recreational use.  Preservation instead could be an option but raises practical and political issues.  This is a difficult decision for the SB with strong public sentiment on both sides.

Mardi volunteered to discuss with any AEC members who are interested, given the ecological implications of the project.

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