Sustainable CT Community Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable CT Certification Report of Durham, a Sustainable CT bronze certified applicant.

Durham was certified on August 02, 2021 with 225 points. Listed below is information regarding Durham’s Sustainable CT efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable CT contact for Durham is:

Name:Brendan Rae
Title/Position:First Selectperson / Selectman's Office

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Durham was approved for in 2021 appears below. Please enjoy this opportunity to view and learn from the information and materials provided.

Notes: Submission content was created by Durham, and Sustainable CT makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the submission, beyond that an individual reviewer approved at least some elements of the action for certification. Further, standards for actions below may have changed, and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action. Finally, approved actions here may include some documents and descriptions in support of action elements that were not approved, in addition to elements that were approved. In preparing your own application, please rely only on the action write-ups for the current certification year to guide your submission. Please contact [email protected] with specific questions.

  • 1. Inclusive and Equitable Community Impacts

    1.1 Optimize for Equity — REQUIRED for All Certification Levels

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 1.1.1 Applied to Sustainable CT Action 8.1 - Durham Farmers Market (10pts) updated 10/12/2020

    Documentation Details: This equity application for actions is requested to be applied towards Sustainable Action 10.1. Durham has historically been known for its agricultural feel which made sense that this Equity Tool Kit application should be applied to Durham’s Farmers’ Market. The efforts to coordinate this event in executing and disseminating how Durham welcomes all to enjoy this atmosphere have dramatically improved over the last year. All people can connect through food. Food is a universal language. A Farmers’ Market core purpose sets the ground work to connect people through providing a destination to purchase local food, support local business, and create a partnership of offering prepared food. All is available in a safe, relaxed, and congenial atmosphere that provides specialized amenities for folks to make an afternoon of it.

    Partners: - Durham Farmers Market Master: Jon Scagnelli a. Town of Durham Board of Selectman: First Selectman, Selectman b. Durham Public Library: director, staff, and board c. CRHS: teachers, children, parents d. Durham Fair Association: president, members e. United Churches of Durham: Pastor f. Town of Durham Recreation Committee: Director, staff g. Durham & Middlefield Youth & Family Services – members - DMIAAB: committee members - Community members: via social media, conversations at the Farmers Market, News outlets

  • 2. Thriving Local Economies

    2.1 Support Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 2.1.1. Durham Brownfield Site Inventory (5pts) 2.1.2. Durham Brownfield Site Map (5pts)

    Additional Information: The site is being addressed through federal, state and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions. Installing carbon filters on drinking water wells and removing some hazardous materials have reduced the potential for exposure to contaminants, making it safer while site studies are completed. Affected drinking water wells are monitored regularly by the Durham Manufacturing Company and by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. EPA has completed the cleanup of the former Merriam Manufacturing Company source area and that component of the Site is being monitored and maintained by CTDEEP. EPA has completed the design is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to construct a water line that will provide water to the area within the Durham Meadows Superfund Site. Water line construction will begin in 2019. EPA has completed the design for the Durham Manufacturing Company source area component of the Site.

  • 3. Well-Stewarded Land and Natural Resources

    3.1 Provide Watershed Education

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 3.1.2: Local Monitoring Program on Watershed Education (5 points), updated 01/20

    Documentation Details: Document 3.1.2a_Watershed-Education-Overview provides a comprehensive overview of the Watershed Monitoring Program Document 3.1.2a_Photos provides pictures that show the program is currently in progress

    3.4 Develop an Open Space Plan

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 3.4.1 Open Space Inventory (10pts)

    Supporting Documentation:

    3.12 Enhance Pollinator Pathways

    15 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 3.12.2 Enhance Pollinator Pathways (10pts) - submitted 12/29/2020

    Supporting Documentation:

    Partners: This effort was coordinated, funded, and executed by Durham resident volunteers

    Additional Information: The pollinator garden was initiated in 2019 and carried out by numerous town volunteers, approved unanimously by the Durham Fair Association, and is still maintained by volunteers today. It was installed on the Durham Fair property next to the Art and youth building. Pollinators are essential for our ecosystem and food supply. There are plans in place to continue to set up pollinator gardens in other areas of Durham.

  • 4. Vibrant and Creative Cultural Ecosystems

    4.1 Inventory Tourism and Cultural Assets

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 4.1.2 CT Visit Weblink - Town of Durham (5pts) Uploaded 10/13/2020

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: It has been confirmed that the page was last updated in October of 2020

    Partners: This page is maintained by Jean Hebert

  • 5. Dynamic and Resilient Planning

    5.3 Develop Agriculture-Friendly Practices

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 5.3.1 Right to Farm agreement (5pts) resubmitted as part of an already approved submittal from August 2018

    Documentation Details: Link to Town of Durham Right to Farm code:

    Additional Information: Attached is Durham's Right to Farm Ordinance

    5.4 Assess Climate Vulnerability

    20 Points

    Approved Information: 5.4.1 Climate Vulnerability Assessment (10 points) 5.4.2 Secondary Impacts to Climate Change (5 points) 5.4.3 Consideration of Vulnerable Populations (5 points)

    Documentation Details: 5.4.1 Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report 5.4.1 Worksheet 1 Durham PoCD (latest available revision)

    Partners: Local government

    5.5 Inventory and Assess Historic Resources

    20 Points

    Approved Information: 5.5.1 Durham Historic Inventory (15pts submitted 1/23/21) 5.5.4 Achieve Recognition of Historic Sites (5pts submitted 1/19/21)

    Documentation Details: 5.5.1 Inventory list starts on page 4, and the PoCD applicable preservation starts on page 6.

    Partners: Historical Commission assisted in attaining the information provided.

    Additional Information: Durham prides themselves on the preservation of its historic assets. This is prominent in its planning and zoning and PoCD regulations. Creating the delicate balance between economic development and historic preservation is one of Durhams challenges for progress.

    5.7 Plan for Long-Term Recovery

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 5.7.1.a/b/c Long Term Recovery Committee formation and goal summary

    Additional Information: This committee is newly formed in response to tropical storms and Storm Isaias. Being an expansion of the existing Emergency Managment team, these individuals will be focusing on emergency situations that impair residents food supply, power, and mobility beyond 72 hours. The need for such a group was proven apparent from the community use of these services during Storm Isaias.

  • 6. Clean and Diverse Transportation Systems and Choices

    6.1 Implement Complete Streets

    45 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 6.1.1: Complete Streets Meeting Minutes (5 points), held 02/07/21 6.1.2: Complete Streets Training Certification (5 points), completed 02/07/21 6.1.3: Complete Streets policy by resolution (20 points) completed 7/23/18 6.1.6 Phased designs for three separate projects have been completed for 2020, however, with the change of action item descriptions, these finalized designs no longer meet the criteria. Documentaion of these designs were previously submitted 9/5/2020 6.1.6 Corridor-wide improvement (1.4-mile bike lane - 15pts)

    Documentation Details: 6.1.1_Complete-Streets-Meeting-Minutes Document outlines the date of the most recent committee meeting, the members who were present at the committee meeting, and what was discussed. 6.1.3_Complete-Streets-Resolution is the official adopted policy of the Complete Streets Committee by the Board of Selectmen 6.1.3_Complete-Streets-Resolution-Distribution is a link at the bottom of the worksheet 6.1.4: All Engineering document inventory 6.1.6: Composes of details for all 3 phases, each phase is large enough where it can be considered 3 separate projects given their individual scopes 6.1.6: Worksheet for Spot Project-Bike Lane

    Partners: CT DOT, Complete Streets committee, local government

    Additional Information: 6.1.1: Durham's Complete Streets plan was presented at the Board of Selectmen meeting on March 9, 2020. 6.1.6 Spot Project (bike lane) - for the "road calming" aspect of the bike lane, though it is not complete. It is no longer in the design phase. The "road calming" work awaits DOT for striping. The signage and sharrows for the bike safety portion await funding but all are approved and have cost estimates.

    6.4 Support Zero Emission Vehicle Deployment

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 6.4.5 Host an Electric Vehicle Charging Station (5pts) - submitted 12/29/2020

    Documentation Details: Charger located at 7 Maple Ave Durham, CT 06422

    Additional Information: The location of this charging station was chosen in order to supply this service while minimally impacting the historic appearance of main street Durham. It is registered online:

  • 7. Renewable and Efficient Energy Infrastructure and Operations

    7.6 Install Efficient Exterior Lighting

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 7.6.2a Communication to Eversource Exterior Lighting (5pts)

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: The Town of Durham went through an analysis whether or not to buy the streetlights from Eversource and convert the lights ourselves. We did not have the capital budget at the time to execute that plan and we were understandably worried about our ability to maintain them over time. Also, the ROI was a bit longer than some would support. At the same time, Eversource embarked on a conversion plan of their own and we decided that would be in the best interest of the Town of Durham. Eversource was fully cooperative, even when we were seriously considering ceasing our relationship with them regarding streetlights. We were able to work with Eversource and become one of the towns in the early stage of the project but ultimately, we were subject to their schedule. The Eversource streetlight department confirmed that most of the cobra streetlight fixtures were converted over in March of 2017 with the rest in April 2017. However, Durham work is still ongoing with an existing budget line item to address maintenance and any private area lights or floodlights that still need to be converted.

    Partners: Eversource Utility Company

  • 8. Inclusive Engagement, Communication and Education

    8.1 Hold a Sustainability Event

    15 Points

    Approved Information: 8.1 Hold a Sustainability Event - Durham Farmers Market (20pts) 10/4/2020 GovCast Example (Durham Market) Vender Map Example from Sept24 (Durham Market) Parking Map (Durham Market)

    Documentation Details: 8.1 Hold a Sustainability Event. - Durham Farmers Market All others are supporting documents for 8.1 Approximately 60 farmers markets were held since May 2019 under the new leadership. Previous years were about 18 per year

    Partners: Via the Market Master who has worked with the following: Local Municipal Government Officials Durham Fair Association Durham Public Library United Churches of Durham Durham & Middlefield Youth & Family Services CRHS

    Additional Information: The Durham Farmers’ Market has been running for over a decade on our beautiful and centrally-located Town Green. In recent years’ attendance has declined, and in 2018, the participating vendor list had reached an all-time low at about 6 vendors and the town was talking about cancelling this event all together. New leadership was then assigned to the Durham Farmers’ Market. The outreach has since been significantly expanded, and vendor participation has reached an all time high of 30 vendors since it was first initiated in 2008.

    8.3 Train Municipal Representatives

    10 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 8.3ab Train Municipal Representatives (10pts)

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: Table includes commission members from Sustainable Durham, Planning and Zoning, Inland/Wetlands, Recreation committees that have attended training meaningful to their role.

  • 9. Strategic Materials Management

    9.4 Reduce and Compost Organic Waste

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 9.4.2: Implement a food waste prevention campaign (10 points)

    Documentation Details: All documents submitted support the reduced cost sale to local residents of Durham and Middlefield of two composter types.

    Additional Information: The composter program has been ongoing in the towns of Durham and Middlefield for the last 5 years and is 50% subsidized by DMIAAB. The goal is to get every resident composting to reduce the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and lower carbon footprint. The composter program was supported by the Durham Farmers Market in 2020.

  • 10. Optimal Health and Wellness Opportunities

    10.4 Develop and Promote Community Growing Spaces

    15 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 10.4 Community Garden (15pts) - submitted 12/29/20

    Partners: The creation of this garden was a partnership with Middlefield and is located at the Middlefield Community Center.

  • 11. Healthy, Efficient and Diverse Housing

    11.1 Implement an Affordable Housing Plan

    15 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 11.1.2 Expansion of Community Data Housing Profile (10pts) - submitted on 1/23/2021 Worksheet 1, additional analysis of Housing data (5pts)

    Documentation Details: Presentation to the Board of Selectman was conducted on January 11th 2020. Article published regarding this presentation on January 15th 2021.

    Partners: Local Government

    Additional Information: Per the Affordable Housing Appeals list of 2019, Durham currently has 2.38% affordable housing stock. As of February 2021, only 14 single family or rental homes are on the market for sale in Durham, out of possible 1,120 homes currently existing. Of those 14 properties, 6 are already under "contingent" status. Range of cost for these is $115,000 to $780,000. Per the 2020 PSC, the housing wage in Durham is lower than the state average $23.65 versus $26.42 Many see Durham as an unobtainable home ownership town to move to but ultimately, the issue is once people move here, they find that the housing market is either stable or increasing in value. How stable the housing values have historically behaved is something that definitely drives people to certain towns. What Durham can do now to increase their affordable housing stock, is to revamp its current planning and zoning regulations to allow existing buildings to become multi-family homes and to make it easier for builders to invest in the area on available open space parcels.