WESTFORD -- The area's carbon footprint was just reduced by about half-a-million dollars.
Town and state officials from Westford, Lunenburg and Ashby said on Monday they were excited to receive Green Communities' designations and more than $446,000 in grants to fund municipal clean energy projects.
"It truly is a generational (designation), and it's paying forward for the generations to come and getting us off the dependency of foreign oil and so many other aspects," said state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, D-Lowell. "This is a great day for each of the towns."
On Monday morning at Westford Town Hall, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan and Department of Energy Resources' (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia presented the grants, Green Communities' certificates from the state and road signs identifying them as Green Communities.
The DOER Green Communities Division officially designated the towns in December, recognizing achievements in meeting five clean energy benchmarks.
"I know it's not easy to get to this point, and I think you have to be struck with the amount of work that goes in at the local level," Sullivan said. "It is the citizens that drive it at the local level, and I'm impressed by that.
"I have said many times, with all due to respect my state colleagues, the best decisions are the ones that are made at the local level," he added.
Westford received a grant of $156,025; Lunenburg received $157,225; and Ashby received $133,350.