The Middlefield Board of Selectmen voted this month to participate in the Sustainable CT municipal certification program.
Sustainable CT is a voluntary program in which towns choose actions aimed at sustainability and implement them to earn points toward a certificate.
Action items include improving watershed management, supporting arts and creative culture, reducing energy use and increasing renewable energy, designing streets that meet the needs of walkers and bikers as well as cars, improving recycling programs, assessing climate vulnerability, supporting local businesses and providing efficient and diverse housing options.
First Selectman Ed Bailey said on July 17 that some existing town programs count toward completing action items.
“Some of the items are in our plan of conservation development,” Bailey said. “Some of the things may be difficult for us to actually achieve, given that we’re a small town,” such as promoting effecting parking management.
“We don’t have that problem,” Bailey said. The town is, however, working on promoting public transit and mobility strategies, and those actions would count toward certification.
The program developed as a Connecticut Conference of Municipalities initiative in 2016 and 2017.
Durham First Selectman Laura Francis was a member of the CCM Task Force on Sustainability, which turned into an advisory committee she vice-chaired that created the vision for Sustainable CT.
Durham was among the first towns to pass a resolution, in December 2017, to become certified as a Sustainable CT community.
Francis said she’s looking forward to partnering with Middlefield to perhaps plan some programs together, such as Middlefield’s proposed solar park on the closed part of the DMIAAB landfill site.
There is no cost to participate and towns select their own actions.
Sustainable CT is administered by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University. Three foundations – Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Common Sense Fund, and Hampshire Foundation – supported the creation and coordination of the program.
More than 50 municipalities have registered to participate, according to Sustainable CT officials.