Former City Councilor Stephen Dunford said he didn’t think the Stretch Code would have a positive impact on Amesbury, arguing that the city would be paying to support a government bureaucracy when it had previously made green energy strides on its own by installing solar panels in the community.
“It would be much more efficient if we did it locally,” Dunford said. “We could put up our own four metal signs saying that we’re a pseudo-green community, and I think we could do a much better job than by writing grants to the Green Communities Act.”
But Scorzoni said that even though the solar panels weren’t paid for with Green Community funds, they were built with federal stimulus money. And Ettenborough challenged Dunford’s line of reasoning further, saying that being a Green Community hadn’t directly added any costs to Newburyport’s budget.
“The builders are going to build the homes and the residents are going to pay for them,” Ettenborough said. “There’s nothing else that we as a community or Amesbury has to pay for to be a green community.”
One resident said she’d heard all the positives, but wanted to hear more of the negatives before a decision was made. Scorzoni said the workshop was simply an extra step in the legislative process. Several public meetings on the issue are planned for December and the matter will be on the City Council’s Dec. 11 meeting agenda.