Chilmark selectmen agreed Tuesday to use a state grant designated for energy saving projects to upgrade the heating system at the Chilmark School.

Earlier this month, Chilmark was designated as a Green Community by the state Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The designation reflects the town’s “position as an energy leader . . . poised to reduce its energy costs, improve the local environment and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects,” according to the letter signed by the state office.

Along with the designation, the town was awarded a grant of $126,000 to put towards a municipal project that further curbs the town’s energy costs and improves the local environment. Selectmen discussed a handful of options for how to use the grant, such as purchasing an electric vehicle, before deciding that upgrading the school heating system was the most viable option.

The grant is contingent upon further approval from the state based on a set of criteria that qualify the project as beneficial to the local environment. The town recently commissioned an $11,000 engineering study to gauge if the upgraded system design is sufficient to qualify for the funding.

The town still has yet to hear back on the preliminary examinations and estimated cost of repairing the school heating system.

“We need a complete analysis of the system in the school and a recommendation of what to do,” said chairman of the board, Warren Doty. “I expect [the project] is going to cost more than this grant.”

“But it softens the blow,” added selectman Bill Rossi.

In other business, the selectmen:

·   Signed a memorandum of support for The Resource Inc., a non-profit organization focused on improving housing conditions for lower income homeowners, to receive a Community Development Block Grant;

·   Approved a study by the state Department of Environmental Affairs to examine public water sources in the town, specifically Tisbury Great Pond, an arm of which was closed to shellfishing last fall due to high levels of fecal coliform;

·   Decided to pursue an Island-wide contract, as opposed to an individual town contract, when renewing the town’s cable television license later this year; and

·   Added a nonbinding resolution to the annual town meeting warrant asking businesses and residents to eliminate their use of polystyrene, a soft plastic that is harmful to the environment and present in disposable cups and styrofoam. The deadline for the town to approve its warrant is March 17.