Minutes of Dec. 10, 2008 meeting

Attending:

Cara Cleveland, Ann Dumont, Jinx and Howard Hastings, Steve and Janice Kurkoski, Pat Larson, Jane Manring, Brian Nugent, Linda Paquet, Tom Rich, Pat Roix, Cathy Stanton

Announcements:

  • The Hands Across North Quabbin meeting on local green economy issues, scheduled for tomorrow night, has been postponed due to bad weather forecasts.
  • Two of the videotaped Garlic Festival presentations have been edited and are being aired on AOTV.  If people wish to have copies for themselves or libraries, they should order them from AOTV at a cost of $15 apiece, which  helps to support the station.
  • Northfield is holding an energy fair this Saturday.
  • Mass DEP is having meetings to talk about its master plan for waste management, which includes discussion about lifting the incineration ban.  For more information, visit their web site.
  • Brian has been doing more winsert workshops at the Athol and Orange libraries.
  • Reminder:  Anyone wishing to post energy-related information on this site can obtain log-in information from Cathy (cstanton@tiac.net).

Energy Expo

The energy expo will again be held in conjunction with the North Central Mass. Home and Leisure Show.  The date is Saturday, March 28, 2009.  It will just be a one-day event this year.  Most of the logistical arrangements are similar to last year’s show.  The Chamber of Commerce is looking for good ideas for outdoor exhibitors to catch attention on the day of the show.  We would also like to come up with a slogan or phrase that will convey the ideas “buy local” and “go green” and the connections between them.  The initial vendor packets are being sent out soon and we will make follow-up calls to the energy vendors before the holiday, with additional calls later as needed.  Cara volunteered to update and keep track of the vendor spreadsheet;  people can let her know if they have results to report (CCleveland@millworkmasters.com).  Cathy will send an email to the group with details about the follow-up calls.

Recycling/composting opportunities

We talked further about the idea of adding some recycling sites to the River Rat events and/or adding more recycling to the Home Show.  We agreed that it would be wiser to take this gradually, as attempting to recycle or compost all the available waste would take a great deal of coordination with vendors, and we don’t really have the person-power to run a large-scale operation at this point.  Pat Roix will check about the possibility of handling recycling for the pancake breakfast on River Rat Day.  We may also sponsor a canoe in the race (possibly with Pat R. and Janice paddling!). 

Winsert project

Tom Rich made small signs letting people at the Environmental Center know who made the winserts that are installed in the first-floor windows.  We received a grant of $1000 from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund to continue our community winsert-making project, during which we will finish the first floor of MREC.  Mann Lumber will sell us (or anyone making winserts) good grade lumber at half price (about 15 cents a linear foot).  Cathy will draft a letter to possibly collaborating groups (service clubs, church groups, others) and Pat L. will work on making a list of groups to send it to.  We will aim to have perhaps a couple of dozen people per workshop.  The specific dates will depend on the groups, but we tentatively schedule Jan. 31 and Feb. 14 for this.  We will also work on putting together a more detailed set of instructions, with photos and perhaps video or PowerPoint.  We have enough in the grant to purchase some tools (a table-saw and chop saw) but we have to figure out where they will live.

Town Energy Commitees

Orange:  Pat L. reported on the progress of the ESCO plans in Orange, and gave an overview of the Orange committee’s work over the past year.

Petersham:  Linda reported for Petersham.  An audit of some town buildings has been done and some work approved.  They are working on an ESCO proposal with Athol.  The focus has been on the town hall, office, and barn, on the assumption that since the school is newer it will need less work, but the group questioned this assumption, based on experience with other new schools.  The committee is beginning to work on education with the schools, and is looking for age-appropriate projects that can lead toward an all-school presentation.  People in the group shared various ideas about this.

Warwick:  Steve reported that they had another work day at the town hall last Saturday, and worked on insulation and identifying new jobs that need to be done.  Siemens did an audit of the town buildings and will likely work on three of them.  Steve noted that the companies working on ESCO projects prefer that towns leave the “low-hanging fruit” for the ESCO to do, rather than doing it beforehand, as it helps to make their overall payback figure more  attractive.  Steve also mentioned a new gadget called “Bye Bye Standby,” available at Amazon, which makes it easy to consolidate on/off functions for multiple appliances and thus to eliminate phantom load.

Athol:  Brian told us about the committee’s post-energy-audit conversations.  He has been encouraging the town to look into a thermal-driven AC system as a way to get rid of individual AC machines in the town offices, which he sees as a good complement to the proposed replacement windows.  He is investigating now what the payback would be on that (window replacements and the proposed boiler upgrade have 6-7 year paybacks).  The committee is also working with the library on discussions about an addition, for which they may possibly aim for LEED certification.

Potluck to discuss “transition towns” idea

We had trouble coming up with a feasible date for this.  We will continue to keep it in mind, possibly for spring when the Home Show, River Rat, etc. are over. 

Next meeting:

Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009

Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main Street, Athol

 

Back to North Quabbin Energy home.

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