By Carol McCracken (Post # 447)
Portland has hired its first-ever sustainability coordinator who will assume his new responsibilities on May 10. Ian Houseal will be responsible for developing policies, projects and operations within the city for environmental sustainability, energy conversation and efficiency and climate change initiatives, said a press release issued by the city. His position is financed by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Currently, Houseal serves as special assistant to the city administrator of Lewiston. He has been charged with developing sustainability policies, providing support to a citizen committee to develop a plan for the city to reduce its fossil fuel usage, conducted energy audits of municipal buildings, etc.
A Bates graduate, Ian earned his Master of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Master of Architecture from the North Carolina State University of Raleigh. He lives in Portland with his wife.
“The EECBG grant is welcome news for the city as it allows us to move our sustanibility efforts forward,” stated city manager Gray. “Ian brings with him a wealth of experience and an understanding of how to engage both employees and the public in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage. As the city looks to the future, it is clear that as a community we need to embrace sustainable practices that ensure a healthy community, economy and environment.”
Houseal’s salary is $50,000 annually. It comes out of the $684,700 received from EECBG last year which is intended to help reduce the city’s energy consumption and carbon footprint by implementing energy conservation measures and focusing attention on the city’s energy reduction goals according to the city’s press release issued by Nicole Clegg.