Wilton moves closer to sustainability

Wilton moved a few steps closer to signing on to a new statewide initiative that helps towns become sustainable, called Sustainable CT, when the Board of Selectmen put a team in place to guide the process.

The initiative was developed by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, together with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

The action during the board’s Aug. 6 meeting at town hall comes seven months after the independently funded effort had a regional launch Jan. 9 at Comstock Community Center. About 70 attended the Comstock session, reportedly one of the largest crowds ever for such an event in the state.

On Monday evening the selectmen authorized the environmental affairs senior analyst and/or a Wilton Energy Commission member to serve as Sustainable CT contacts for the Sustainable CT Municipal Certification process and be authorized to complete the registration.

The selectmen also resolved that in order to promote local initiatives and actions toward Sustainable CT municipal certification, the charge of the Wilton Energy Commission was expanded to serve as an advisory sustainability team.

As part of the resolution, the commission will meet within 90 days to focus on sustainability and will report annually to the selectmen.

Sustainable CT encourages towns to choose sustainable actions and helps them with grants. Wilton is already well on the way, with an expansive solar electricity program in the schools, for example, as well as in private homes.

Selectman Deborah McFadden was among the representatives from Wilton who attended the event at Comstock, and on Monday she praised the selectmen for moving forward on the sustainability project.

An information table at the event showed that some of the actions expected of sustainable towns include the adoption of a permitting process to promote sustainable development, the streamlining of solar energy permitting, clean and diverse transportation systems, and the encouragement of smart commuting, among others.

Towns are also expected to promote public transit and encourage health and sustainable food networks.