Potsdam trustees hear update on Climate Smart Communities project
BY ADAM ATKINSON
North Country This Week
POTSDAM -- The Potsdam Village Board of Trustees heard brief presentations from representatives from the Climate Smart Communities committee regarding their progress with the state-run initiative.
Rose Rivezzi and Chip Morris, co-chairs of the committee, gave a brief presentation to the board at their meeting Monday, Nov. 16 on the work the committee has accomplished thus far.The Village of Potsdam was one of many communities statewide, including the Town of Potsdam, who joined the state’s Climate Smart Community program in 2017. The goal of the program overall is reduce the emission of greenhouse gas and adapt to a changing climate.
About 20 people make up the Potsdam committee and they are charged with working off the village’s Climate Smart Communities checklist. The check list is made up of ten categories of about 75 to 80 action items to address climate change at the community level, Morris said.
Morris told the board that each action item is assigned certain points that the community is awarded under the program for their completion. Those points garner the community awards.
Morris credited the members of the committee for their work on the program.
“I’m surrounded by very, very knowledgeable people. They are content people, and they are very committed and work very hard towards achieving this goal,” Morris told the board.
Rivezzi told the board that although the village joined the program to become more sustainable, the point system set up by the state Department of Environmental Conservation helps to guide the work by the municipal committees who participate.
The DEC has an online web portal set up for each of the committees to submit various Climate Smart goals they have achieved Rivezzi said.
Rivezzi listed several action items the committee has identified that the village will be able to submit to the DEC portal, some of which are complete and some of which are still in progress, include helping the colleges with the Sustainability Day event, compiling a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, interior lighting upgrades at municipal facilities, energy benchmarking, LED light conversions, energy code enforcement training, recycling bin distribution, and submission of a climate vulnerability study.
“It just hopefully will open the door to grant possibilities, the more that we do, down the road,” Rivezzi told the board.
Fred Hanss, the village’s planning and development director, added that the village’s work on the program may make the municipality eligible to apply for dollar for dollar match grant financing through the DEC for some of the action item work, including LED lighting replacement.
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