Zack Gosselin, environmental and resiliency coordinator at AVCOG, explains to the Wilton select board and residents in attendance what goes into the process of becoming a partner in the Community Resilience Partnership on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — Wilton select board continues to move forward in establishing a partnership with the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments [AVCOG] for the Community Resilience Partnership.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Zach Gosselin, environmental and resiliency coordinator at AVCOG paid another visit to the select board to discuss the next steps in the partnership. Gosselin previously approached the board on Dec. 6.

The partnership, which was announced on Nov. 23 of last year, promises the opportunity to apply for $50,000 no match community action grants to be used in support of projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

“The state set aside $4.75 million for municipalities to get energy efficiency grants and work toward mitigating environmental, social and economic impacts,” Gosselin explained to the public at the meeting.

Once a town becomes a partner in the program, they will have a 2-year period wherein they will be able to apply for a $50,000 grant up to four times, with the town potentially earning up to $200,000 in grant funds.

The steps involved in establishing a partnership included the passing of a resolution, which was done on Dec. 6, followed by a self-evaluation performed by Town Manager Perry Ellsworth. In the evaluation, which was disclosed at the meeting on Tuesday, Ellsworth listed a comprehensive plan and assessing water systems as short-term areas of improvement with retaining a younger workforce and affordable housing being things to work on in the long-term.


Ellsworth also listed energy efficiency upgrades, assessing infrastructure and societal impacts as the main priorities of the community. With the self-evaluation complete, Gosselin and Ellsworth can move forward to the next step, which is a community workshop.

No date has been set for the community workshop, but according to Gosselin, once the date is set, members of the community will receive a flyer that will cover some of the potential areas of improvement. They include:

• Transportation, such as installing public EV chargers or implementing strategies to increase use of public transit, biking or walking.

• Building design, such as installing heat pumps or upgrading energy efficient appliances in municipal buildings.

• Reducing greenhouse emission gases through adopting a renewable energy ordinance or installing a renewable energy project.

• Protecting natural/working areas, like planning to conserve 30% of land in the community by 2030 or adopt policies to prioritize shoreline protection of rivers and lakes.


• Strengthen public health through establishing a program to check on vulnerable residents during extreme cold events or implementing school based programs to educate students on mosquito- or tick-borne disease prevention.

• Support natural resource economy with adopting policies to support local food consumption and production.

• Public engagement such as creating climate change education and outreach programs or engaging youth in resilience, clean energy, and energy use reduction.

• Plan for community resilience with developing a storm debris management plan.

These examples are only the tip of the iceberg as the grants can fund up to 72 different community resiliency actions. Wilton has already completed some of these items, such as opening a community garden and participating in the National Flood Insurance Program [NFIP].

According to Gosselin, 131 communities are working to be in this partnership, and many have already received funding. Farmington received $50,000 to purchase and install new HVAC for the community center and Jay received the same amount to apply spray foam insulation to the roof of a municipal building.

Rangeley, which was part of the group of towns along with Wilton that were working with AVCOG in the partnership, completed their public workshop on Jan. 17. The deadline for the next grant application is Mar. 22. After that, the next deadline will be in September.

For more information on the grant program, please visit For Wilton residents interested in their town’s participation in the program and the date of the workshop, please contact [207] 645-4961.

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