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Mayor signs green proclamation

(left to right) State Rep. Rosemary Sandlin, Louis Russo, vice chair of Go Green Agawam Committee, Mayor Susan Dawson, Tracy DeMaio of the Department of Public Works, Corinne Wingard, chair of the Go Green Agawam Committee, Town Councilor Jill Messick, also member of the Go Green Agawam Committee, and Jay Berger, founder of the Go Green Agawam Committee at the press conference announcing October as Energy Awareness Month.
Reminder Publications photo by Katelyn Gendron
By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

AGAWAM Town officials and the Go Green Agawam Committee are hoping that a classic case of "monkey see, monkey do" will increase green practices across the community.

During a press conference last Thursday, Dawson signed a proclamation officially declaring October as Energy Awareness Month. She explained that by setting the example, town officials will be encouraging residents and business people across the community to adopt green practices.

"The town is committed to educating, assisting and promoting environmental education to businesses, homeowners, the public school system and municipal staff," Dawson said. "Energy Awareness Month is intended to heighten community awareness of and participation in environmentally responsible behavior."

She noted that town and school officials have converted to double-sided copies to reduce paper consumption, removed air conditioning units from Town Hall windows and maintains a policy of switching off all unnecessary electronic devices to conserve energy.

"I'm pleased that everybody has picked up on what our goal: to reduce homeowners energy costs by 20 percent in the next year," Jay Berger, founder of the Go Green Agawam Committee, said, adding that this will be done through community education of green practices.

Town Councilor Jill Messick, also member of the Go Green Agawam Committee, noted that home and business owners can begin simple conservation efforts that will save them thousands in the long run, including water and energy conservation and buying locally grown produce, which reduces pollution and supports the local economy.

State Rep. Rosemary Sandlin explained that the importance of green practices statewide came to the forefront on Beacon Hill last July when Gov. Deval Patrick signed the Green Communities Act, an energy reform bill filed by House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi in 2007. She noted that there must be a focus statewide on solar and wind energy as well as instituting additional green practices as energy becomes more costly.

"It's critical that the mayor supports these initiatives . It shows the people that this is a very important endeavor that benefits everybody," Louis Russo, vice chair of the Go Green Committee, said.

Dawson noted that the Go Green Committee will transition from a volunteer community service group to an official town committee in the next fiscal year.

For more information about the committee, contact Russo at 786-9107 or Berger at 786-6552.