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New committee will oversee implementation of sustainable master plan

GREENFIELD — A committee will soon be formed to oversee the implementation of the town’s new Planning Board-approved Sustainable Master Plan.

Board Chairwoman Roxann Wedegartner said the committee will probably consist of eight to 12 members.

“You don’t want a committee like that to be too big or too small,” said Wedegartner. “It will operate in a similar way to the 35-member advisory committee that created the new master plan, but will strictly be involved with implementation, not enforcement.”

Wedegartner said that doesn’t mean the committee will actually implement all of the different pieces of the master plan, but will advise the town boards and departments that typically deal with different issues.

For instance, public works would be involved with projects dealing with water and sewer issues, while the Planning Board and Planning Department would be involved in issues concerning development, she said. The Conservation Commission would be involved if a project dealt with wetlands.

She said those entities would implement different aspects of the new plan.

Wedegartner said there is currently an eight-member committee that works closely with the town’s Energy and Sustainability Coordinator Carole Collins, which could become the beginning of the implementation committee and other members could be added.

She said it has been suggested there be a representative from the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, Town Council and from public works.

“There would also be members from the community on the committee,” said Wedegartner.

She said town leaders would like to make sure Greenfield is headed in the right direction with its plan to form such a committee.

“We’ve checked with other communities that have this type of committee and found that many, if not all, have failed,” said Wedegartner. “I think that has been for several reasons, including internal politics and people not putting in the effort into it that they needed to.”

Wedegartner said because the town hasn’t found a model to follow, it will have to figure it all out on its own.

“We want to find a way to get people excited about this,” said Wedegartner.

She said the committee, for instance, would look at the goals of the new plan, as well as the strategies, and would make recommendations to different boards, committees and town departments.

Wedegartner said it would also look at costs of different projects and possibly do some prioritizing.

“The committee might decide a plan of attack and then leave it to one of the town’s boards or departments to follow through with that plan,” she said.

“We want this plan to take the town through the next five to 10 years, so it would be a commitment on each member’s part, even though I’m sure people would come and go over the years,” she said.

Wedegartner said committee members would most likely be appointed by the mayor. She said the committee is not being envisioned as one that would provide enforcement.

“I’m sure as we move ahead there will be lots of discussion about the makeup and responsibilities of the committee,” she said.

The Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan can be found at the library and planning office at 114 Main St. It may also be viewed at: http://www.greenfield-ma.gov/Pages/GreenfieldMA_Planning/Master_Plan

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