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Westmont brings back environmental commission for green efforts

Published: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 9:49 a.m. CDT

WESTMONT – After being disbanded in 2008 because of budget cuts, the Village of Westmont’s Environmental Improvement Commission has been reinstated.

The original EIC helped maximize the village’s recycling programs and other green efforts, according to Trustee Harold Barry III, whose father was a member of the original EIC.

Barry III said bringing the commission back is a good step toward improving Westmont’s carbon footprint.

Another goal of the EIC is to aid the village’s Storm Water Management Committee, he added.

“[The commission] is important in so many ways to our children’s future and grandchildren’s future,” said Barry III, adding that he will likely chair the commission.

As of Monday, the commission had seven volunteers who have applied to be on the commission. Barry III is hoping to have a nine-member commission.

Volunteering will involve attending meetings, though it has not yet been determined how often the group would meet.

Westmont resident Glenn Gabryel was a member on the original EIC and has already signed up for the new commission.

“Right now it’s really quite an open slate,” Gabryel said, referring to the duties of the EIC. “It’s a blank slate so it’s difficult to predict what we’re doing exactly … It’s a work in progress to pick up the pieces.”

After being on the first commission, Gabryel said one thing he plans on carrying over to the new EIC is the idea of an open mind.

“We tried to consider and focus fact-finding on decision-making with an eye toward economics as well as environmental impact,” Gabryel said.

“On the residents’ part, we might be able to promote minimizing environmental impact,” Gabryel said. “[The] quality of an environment goes right along with quality of life in Westmont.

“We want to keep an eye on the [cost effective payback],” he added. “We’re always responsible to citizens on an economic and as well environmental level.”

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