Haverhill to Use State Green Communities Grant to Weatherize Buildings, Buy Electric Vehicles

Mayor James J. Fiorentini looks at electric vehicle charging stations at the Herbert H. Goecke Parking Garage on Merrimack Street March 18, 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill plans to use its second state Green Communities grant to make energy-saving weatherization improvements to schools and fire stations and purchase electric vehicles for City Hall inspectors

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said the state Department of Energy Resources city awarded $192,000 and comes on top an initial award in 2019 of $315,000 to make other energy-saving upgrades including electric vehicle charging stations at City Hall, a new stretch of the Fiorentini Bradford Rail Trail and a large tree-planting program. The 2019 plan calls for the city to reduce its energy use and spending by 20% over five years.

“Supporting cities and towns as they implement local projects that reduce long-term energy costs and carbon emissions is essential to helping Massachusetts meet its aggressive climate goals and achieve net-zero emissions in 2050,” Gov. Charlie Baker said.

Weatherization projects are slated to take place at Haverhill High, Greenleaf and Dr. Paul Nettle Schools; Charles C. White High School Pool; 16th Avenue, Water Street and High Street fire stations; and Citizens Center.  Another $22,500 has been set aside for electric vehicles for city inspectors.

In a statement, city officials said the new grant is the result of ongoing collaboration between the city, state, Energy Consultant Orlando Pacheco, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, private contractor Energy Source and National Grid.

Joanne Bissetta, deputy director of the state Department of Energy Resources, first briefed city councilors on the program in 2017 at the request of then-Councilor Colin F. LePage, who advocated for the green designation.

Other area communities receiving Green Communities grants are Andover, $98,618; Merrimac, $70,089; and Newburyport, $36,867.

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