Arlington Energy Committee Meeting Minutes 7.7.21

Arlington Energy Committee meeting – July 7, 2021 in Town Hall AND via Zoom, recorded

 Next meeting: Henceforth, the AEC will meet at Town Hall and via Zoom the FIRST and THIRD WEDNESDAY of every month from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The next meeting is August 4.

 Present: Stephanie Moffett-Hynds (Chair), Bryan Dalton (notes), Alexandra Ernst, Karen Lee, Garret Siegel, John Toth. Via Zoom: Mardi Crane-Godreau.

 Guests: Town Administrator Nick Zaiac, Ali Zaiac

 Old Business

·      Notes of June 14 meeting: Garret moved to accept the notes; Karen seconded, all agreed.

·      Town Hall LEDs: Bryan PROMISED (again) to send Nick links to order sample bulbs to install, test with building occupants, video documenting all the way. 

·      Videos: Mardi and Karen will soon execute a video on electric yard equipment.

·      Window Dressers: 

o   Bennington County will have two builds: Southshire at Makers Space in Bennington November 4-9, and Northshire at Arlington Common (former St. Margaret’s Catholic Church) November 11-15.  Volunteers are needed for this “barn build” style event; register at https://signup.com/go/NFqMowf (Northshire event is called “Manchester VT 2021 Community Build) to help build on any of those days, plus: Nov. 3 unload materials from WD Maine at Southshire site; Nov. 10 move materials from Southshire to Northshire site; Nov. 16 breakdown and move materials to next location.

o   This year, the insulating window inserts will be in bare pine. Each insert saves $27/year on average and can stay in windows during the air conditioning season. Damaged inserts can have one future re-wrap at a discount ($10 each).

o   Target audience is everyone: low, middle and high income households. All clients are expected to help with the build if able; they aren’t building their own units but helping with all. Up to 10 free inserts can be provided to families who can’t afford the cost, as determined by survey team.

o   Commercial equivalents cost around $273 per window, plus high shipping costs.

o   GrowGrant gave us money and we (WindowDressers Bennington County) filed applications with the VCRD and the Stratton Foundation. GNAT filmed and is airing a promo video.  All are encouraged to share the video on social media.

o   To get word to those in town who most need the window inserts: Natalie Caler is very active in many civic activities and would know who may need them but not speak up; the Food Shelf; Sandy Grover who runs the summer lunch program out of E. Arlington Federated Church (Bryan emailed her); Bennington Co. Meals on Wheels (Bryan drives for MoW and has left a message with Ilsa Svoboda, the Executive Director, to see about publicizing this to meal recipients); the Senior Lunches at Federated Church, once they start up again.

o   There are rack cards with WD info coming. Steph will hit all the bulletin boards.

·      Arlington Farmers Market Table: 

o   Volunteers: AEC members, let Steph know which shifts you can staff: August 6, 13 and 20, with shift #1 from 3:30-5:30 (including setup) and #2 from 5:30-7:30 (including breakdown). (Manchester Street Fest is 7/20, 8/27…no conflict).  So far: 

§  8/6: Alex, Steph, Jeff and Mary Ann Carlson

§  8/13: #1 – Karen, #2 – Alex, Garrett, Mary Ann

§  8/20: Jeff.

o   Jeff Dexter of the Sunderland EC will lend his tent; Karen Lee will lend a table; Steph will provide chairs. Our AEC sandwich board from 2020 is still ready, sitting in Town Hall foyer. Jeff has an additional board with Window Dressers info. Nick confirmed we can continue storing these FM materials in the foyer.

o   Training: Alex and Garrett will host training on the information needed to staff the table; date TBD. (Nick: this FAQ session need not be warned to the public).  Make clear: We are the AEC; Window Dressers is ONE of our activities.

o   John advised not underestimating the amount of time needed to set up, based on his experience with the Lions Club table. Clipboards holding samples of each info sheet work well, with the rest kept in their box to stay clean.  A board stating what the AEC does, and what we did during the pandemic, is useful. Three-ring binders with eye-catching information sheets work well.

o   Jeff reports it’s good to have something to hand out to people.

o   Agreed it would be great to have a video running but barriers include power and internet at the Rec Area.

Outreach:

·      Ali reported she is revamping the Arlington Area Renewal Project (AARP) website as a single website for around six civic groups in town, including Lions, Fire Department, Rescue Squad, Arlington Arts & Enrichment, AEC.  AEC could have its own landing page and a link to give out. There is no discussion page. It would complement Facebook/Happening in Arlington (for which Ali also can do graphics).  It is not a Town page, rather a civic one.  Will be ready before our Farmers Market dates.  If we have graphics, Ali can upload them in 2 to 4 weeks. (She previously ran the Bristol church website).

·      Ali will create a volunteer sign-up form for the site, as she is doing for the fire dept.

·      Nick reported his Town Administrator phone number now can receive and send texts: (802) 379-9916. 

·      Websites:

o   Official Town site: https://arlingtonvermont.org  

o   Promotional site: https://www.arlington-vermont.com

·      John advised, and Ali confirmed, that GNAT TV is a major source of information for local senior citizens, and those who don’t rely on written products. Some are very glad to come to in-person meetings. Passive ads, for example on the sandwich board in front of Town Hall, reach many.

2022 Goals: We agreed to defer this discussion to the next meeting, as current issues took up the available time. Nick urged that we consider, since transportation and thermal (heating) cause Vermont’s largest carbon footprint, what’s the next value-added activity the AEC can do to encourage Town and residents to make the changes needed. Long-term and recent residents are different targets.

Mardi focused on electric vehicle (EV) chargers in Town, perhaps partnering with businesses.  The Planning Commission could address EV chargers, and consider giving priority to EV charging via the zoning code. Nick reported there hasn’t been vocal demand for it yet, but all agreed baseline demand will increase in the near future. (Note from Bryan: the EV charger-finder app PlugShare shows that Mack Molding has an EV charger in its parking lot).

Meeting schedule: Nick confirmed that scheduling of meetings doesn’t require a vote with quorum).

Without objection, meeting was adjourned.

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