Energy meets economy: Commissions may join forces

Wilton's Energy Commission might team up with Wilton's Economic Development Commission to help out with the revenue growth effort.

Several energy commissioners attended the Economic Development Commission's May 11 meeting, because they say they can help with economic development in Wilton.

Their ideas ranged from building a solar farm in Wilton to modifying Wilton Center signs to read, "A leading clean energy community."

As Energy Commission Co-Chair Richard Creeth put it, "This is why we're here tonight. These ideas are clearly the purview of the Economic Development Commission — that's why we thought liaison between the commissions was a good idea."

Gil Bray, who now sits on both commissions — May 11 was his first EDC meeting — gave a briefing on the Energy Commission's accomplishments, and energy co-chair Debra Thompson-Van said the Energy Commission could leverage Wilton's good energy standing with the state of Connecticut to bring in tech startups and cutting-edge companies that thrive in clean energy sectors.

Economic Development Commission Co-Chair Vivian Lee-Shuie said she liked the idea of working together, and her fellow commissioners expresses similar sentiments.

Bray invited the Economic Development Commission to make an introductory presentation of their own to the Energy Commission at its next regular meeting on May 25.

He said the commissions should meet together to discuss ideas, and attempt to put together "two or three" realistic proposals by September.

Lee-Shuie said that, since the commissions are in the "early stages of discussion" of the matter, a good jumping-off point would be to have someone on the Energy Commission join the Economic Development Commission's "marketing subgroup," and start collaborating on some of the branding efforts now underway.