Edgartown was feeling green — with environmentalism, not envy — on Tuesday, as selectmen made progress on the installation of water bottle refill stations around the town, listened to a presentation on becoming a ‘green community’ and approved multiple shade tree removals.

Signe Benjamin, programs and membership director for Vineyard Conservation Society, told selectmen that the organization had started an initiative to install water bottle refill stations throughout many of the Island towns. Ms. Benjamin said that Edgartown already had one station in the town hall and two in the courthouse — as well as all the Island schools — but that the group was interested in adding more.

“They are now in all the schools and many public buildings,” Ms. Benjamin said. “We are starting to do outreach to the towns to hopefully partner with them and get them installed in outdoor spaces. . . we would love to do more here.”

Ms. Benjamin said that VTA administrator Angela Grant had approved the installation of a water bottle refill device at the rest area and bathrooms on Church street, and that VCS was interested in partnering with the town to figure out other possible locations for the devices. In exchange for purchasing the device, Ms. Benjamin said she hoped the town would take care of future expenses.

Signe Benjamin of Vineyard Conservation Society suggests more water bottle refilling stations in town. — Noah Asimow

“We would like to fund the stations in the hopes that the town would take care of the installation and the maintenance going forward,” Ms. Benjamin said. “We are happy to work with the town on which is the right unit and where.”

Selectmen expressed enthusiasm about the proposal and tasked Ms. Benjamin to work with town administrator James Hagerty, as well as the water department, to brainstorm other possible locations for the devices. Mr. Hagerty said that the town hall’s refill station, installed six months prior, had already received considerable traffic from employees and members of the public.

“You put them in, we’ll take care of them,” selectman Arthur Smadbeck said, to a round of applause from audience members at the meeting.

After the clapping subsided, selectmen heard from chairman of the town’s energy committee Alan Strahler about becoming a state-designated ‘green community.’ In his Powerpoint presentation, Mr. Strahler explained that the state has developed a green community designation and grant program that provides qualifying towns with a financial and technical roadmap for energy reduction.

On the Island, Aquinnah and Chilmark have recently qualified for the designation, joining Tisbury and West Tisbury as ‘green communities.’ Each town received an approximately $130,000 designation grant upon qualification.

In order to qualify, towns have to pledge to cut municipal energy by 20 per cent over five years and meet four other criteria, including the adoption of a stretch code that would require buildings to meet higher energy efficiency standards. Edgartown would have to vote on the stretch code and zoning bylaw changes at town meeting this April.

Mr. Strahler said the stretch code has been in effect in Tisbury and West Tisbury for five years, was recently adopted in Chilmark and Aquinnah, and will be on the Oak Bluffs town meeting warrant. He said that the stretch code would force people to spend a little extra money on making their homes energy efficient, but that the costs would pay for themselves through energy savings in five to six years, in most instances.

“It is somewhat controversial,” Mr. Strahler said. “But the whole Island is going this way.”

After discussion, selectmen said the stretch code would be on the town meeting warrant but decided to hold a public hearing on the stretch code as well. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.

In other business, selectmen approved the removal of shade trees at 41 Winter street and 249 Chappaquiddick road.