SOUTH PORTLAND — The City Council on Tuesday discussed creating a new program to fund an expansion of public transportation services and drafting an ordinance requiring some building projects to be certified as energy efficient. 

Councilors met with representatives from the Maine Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council about the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification process for certain new or renovated buildings. Councilors requested more information about added costs associated with the third-party certification, as well as ways to create incentives for energy-efficient construction.

With an eye towards a possible high school renovation project, more information was also sought about the certification process for renovation projects.

Meanwhile, there was broad-based support for creating a new kind of tax increment financing district geared towards expanding and improving public transportation. The so-called Transit TIF would capture 25 percent of new taxes generated through the development or redevelopment of 15 parcels.

The council will likely vote on creating the Transit TIF in February or March, while more workshops are expected on drafting the LEED ordinance.

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