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$7.3 Million Awarded to Climate Smart Municipalities
New York Ag Connection - 01/21/2019

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that DEC's Climate Smart Communities Grants Program has awarded $7.3 million to municipalities across the state as part of the $763 million in Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards announced in mid-December. Established in 2016, this 50/50 matching grant program for municipalities supports climate change adaptation and the local reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The grants also provide support for communities seeking to become State-certified Climate Smart Communities. The Climate Smart Community Grant Program is one of 21 programs included in the REDC awards.

Seggos said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo, New York's $300 million Environmental Protection Fund is providing much-needed resources to local governments across the state to accelerate actions to combat climate change. These Climate Smart Community awards empower municipalities to become more resilient and adapt to the potentially devastating effects of climate change."

Two-hundred-and-forty-five New York State municipalities have adopted the Climate Smart Communities Pledge to become registered Climate Smart Communities and engage in programs to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote renewable energy and a green economy. These registered Climate Smart Communities can also work toward Climate Smart Community Certification by documenting completion of specific, local actions. Each registered Climate Smart Community may choose to undertake those actions most appropriate for its particular objectives, capacity, and other circumstances. Completion of these actions allows the community to earn points toward designation as a Certified Climate Smart Community. The Climate Smart Community Certification Grants support communities undertaking certification actions.

Beyond supporting Climate Smart Community certification, the Climate Smart Community grants support projects that advance Governor Cuomo's climate change and clean energy goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating flood risk, and preparing for extreme heat and weather events. Information on the Climate Smart Communities program is available on their website. The 2018 Climate Smart Community Awards are listed on the Office of Climate Change funding page; the 2018 REDC Awards Booklet is posted on the REDC site.

Western New York

- Erie County received $79,968 for Climate Smart Communities Certification Actions. The county will complete the following Climate Smart Community certification actions: community climate action plan, bicycle master plan, fleet inventory, and update/adopt policy's regarding fleet efficiency, complete streets, and construction waste. Each action will help to reduce the county's greenhouse gas emissions.

- The village of Sherman received $18,000 for its Climate Smart Comprehensive Plan. The Village of Sherman will complete a Climate Smart Comprehensive Plan, which will incorporate policies and actions the village can undertake to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, revitalize its business corridor, protect wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and maintain its connection to nature, while stimulating sustainable economic development and improving quality of life.

Southern Tier

- The city of Ithaca received $460,397 for the Downtown Ithaca Transportation Demand Management Association. The city will transition its transportation demand management pilot project to full implementation by creating an association that is working with local employers, transportation providers, and commuters to reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicle use and thereby reduce traffic congestion, parking garage demand, and greenhouse gas emissions. The association will work to change the commuting habits of at least 600 additional individuals by 2022.

- The town of Kirkwood received $91,000 for the Highway Department Drainage Improvement Project. The town will replace an underground drainage system at the highway garage with a larger capacity system to drain excess water from the site during increasingly heavy rain events.

- The village of Montour Falls was awarded $8,998 for Climate Smart Community Actions. The village will complete Climate Smart Communities certification actions related to planning, analysis, and policy development that focus on three objectives: reducing greenhouse gas emissions in both government operations and in the community, assessing climate vulnerability, and producing educational materials that will assist other Schuyler County communities with climate change preparedness.

Mohawk Valley

- Montgomery County received $2 million for its Montgomery County Facilities Relocation project. The county is relocating its Business Development Center and Department of Public Works out of the Mohawk River floodplain to the Industrial Development Authority Glen Canal Business Park. Consolidating several satellite offices outside of the flood inundation area will increase efficiency of emergency service operations during storm events by eliminating the need to move equipment prior to each storm and eliminating trips between facilities.

Mid-Hudson

- The city of Kingston was awarded $60,000 for its Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. The city is preparing a comprehensive city-wide pedestrian and bicycle master plan that will inventory and assess all existing sidewalks and bike paths and perform an equity-demand analysis and a gap analysis to identify a cohesive non-motorized transportation network that, when completed, will link neighborhoods and business areas together, as well as to the Kingston Greenline and the Empire State Trail.

- The city of Kingston received $772,752 for its Safe and Accessible Flatbush and Foxhall Avenues project. The city of Kingston is enhancing bicycle and pedestrian facilities along portions of Flatbush and Foxhall Avenues. Sidewalks, railroad crossing facilities, sidewalk ramps, painted crosswalks, driveway aprons, pedestrian waiting stations, and 56 street trees are included in the improvements. The project will increase safety along the corridor and at the railroad crossings, support an increase in non-motorized transportation and connect low-income neighborhoods to commercial centers.

- Sullivan County's Department of Public Works was awarded $934,084 for its Hamlet of Kohlertown Flood Risk Reduction Project. The county will construct an overflow pipeline to alleviate repetitive flooding in the hamlet of Kohlertown. Excessive storm water flow to a tributary of the East Branch of the Callicoon Creek causes flooding of residences, businesses, and several roads in the in the area.

- The town of Amenia received $17,208 for Climate Smart Community Certification Actions. The town will pursue certification through the completion of two CSC actions. Completion of a road-stream crossing vulnerability assessment will determine climate vulnerabilities associated with bridges and culverts. Completion of climate resiliency planning will identify gaps in the town's policies regarding climate vulnerability and adaptation, which will help guide future policy and project direction.

- The town of Dover was awarded $14,723 for its Climate Smart Sustainability Update to Comprehensive Plan. The town will amend its comprehensive plan to include a sustainability chapter. The sustainability chapter will articulate a vision, guiding principles, action plan, and sustainability evaluation measures to promote economic growth while protecting the town's environmental assets.

- The town of Fallsburg received $168,713 for its Mongaup Road Culvert Right Sizing project. The town is replacing an undersized culvert with two aluminum box culverts to reduce flood risk along a tributary to the East Mongaup River in Hurleyville.

- The town of North East was awarded $29,708 for its Climate Smart Community Certification Actions. The town of North East and the village of Millerton will join forces to work toward Climate Smart Community Certification and will inventory government greenhouse gas emissions and create climate action plans, evaluate bridges and culverts for flooding vulnerability, and perform climate resiliency planning analysis that will identify gaps in climate vulnerability and adaptation policies.

- The town of Ossining received $100,000 to complete Climate Smart Communities Certification Actions. The town will complete a comprehensive plan with sustainability elements and a plan for bicycling and walking. The bicycling and walking plan will be a chapter in the comprehensive plan and will build on the very successful Millwood-Ossining Go! Trail Plan

- The town of Philipstown was awarded $6,000 for its Climate Smart Communities Campaign. The town will complete several certification actions, including climate smart resiliency planning, as part of moving toward designation as a Certified Climate Smart Community. The goal of the project is to gather information about the best strategies for mitigating the town's contribution to climate change and for adapting the community to the inevitable effects of a changing climate.

- In addition, the town of Philipstown received $9,670 to inventory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a consumption-based inventory. Consumption-based GHG inventories trace goods and services to their source and provide a higher level of detail than standard GHG inventories. The town will use these data and analysis to set emission reduction targets in its climate action plan.

- The town of Poughkeepsie was awarded $45,000 for its Comprehensive Plan Update with Sustainability Elements. The town will update its 2007 comprehensive plan, which successfully introduced mixed-use zoning and greenspace preservation strategies. Drawing on recent pedestrian infrastructure planning for Dutchess County, Poughkeepsie's comprehensive plan update will include a complete streets policy, bicycle and walking infrastructure planning, and a natural resource inventory.

- The village of Port Chester received $50,000 to develop its Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan, a climate adaptation strategy for sea-level rise along the Byram River, which connects to Long Island Sound. A large portion of the Village lies within the river's 100-year floodplain; therefore, the focus of the strategy will be on retrofit and flood proofing of existing structures.

Long Island

- The town of Brookhaven was awarded $375,000 for Mastic Beach Wetlands Restoration. The town will remove abandoned homes and antiquated infrastructure from tidal wetlands in Mastic Beach to re-establish wetland systems and natural floodplains in this area, which is vulnerable to sea-level rise and coastal storms.

- The town of Hempstead received $80,000 to update its Energy & Sustainability Master Plan. The town will update its Energy & Sustainability Master Plan. Work will include updating the town's energy, fleet, and greenhouse gas inventory data and an assessment of all energy and sustainability related polices. The analysis will aim to show where the town has made progress and uncover opportunities for improvement, addition of new policies or programs, or expansion of existing programs.

- The town of Huntington was awarded $62,500 for to update its Climate Action Plan. The town will complete government operations and community greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, a renewable energy feasibility study, and capital phase-in plan. These studies will inform the update of the climate action plan to incorporate a GHG reduction target, set a renewable energy goal for the town, and provide a list of projects that can be undertaken to achieve those goals.

- The town of Southampton received $410,000 for Alewife Creek Culvert Right Sizing. The town will right-size a culvert under Noyac Road at North Sea Road to restore proper water flow through Alewife Creek. This work will allow for the passage of additional water during storm events and as sea level rises. It will also allow for the migration of alewife, a fish species important to the local economy.

Finger Lakes

- The city of Rochester was awarded $250,000 for its Completion of Priority Bicycle Boulevards project. The city will complete construction of the last 10 miles of its Priority Bicycle Boulevard network as described in the 2015 Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan. These bicycle boulevards connect to a fast-growing network of bike lanes, protected lanes, multi-use trails, and shared use lanes that provide seamless continuity for users, encouraging more trips to be taken by bicycle and reducing vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

- The town of Batavia received $255,172 for its Bigelow Creek Headwaters Improvement Project. The town will install various stormwater management practices such as check dams, creek bed enhancements, native vegetation, and a stormwater treatment pond within the Bigelow Creek watershed as part of the Bigelow Creek Headwaters Improvement Project. Increasingly severe weather events have flooded and eroded this area, transporting sediment and nutrients into the creek and Lake Ontario. Improving management of the watershed will reduce erosion, sedimentation, and flooding.

- The town of Richmond was awarded $5,000 to complete Climate Smart Community Certification Actions.

Central New York

- The town of DeWitt received $100,435 for its Rethinking Rain Water in the Franklin Park Community project. The town will implement several stormwater best management practices along Richwood Drive, a neighborhood that has had problems with flooding and standing water during heavy rains. Porous pavement, culverts, infiltration basins, street trees, and water storage areas will be constructed to alleviate ponding of water. Stormwater educational materials and rain barrels will be distributed to residents in an effort to further reduce the amount of stormwater runoff in the area.

- The town of Moravia was awarded $24,118 to develop its Climate Smart Comprehensive Plan. The town of Moravia will work with the Cayuga County Planning Department to update its 1965 comprehensive plan to focus on climate sustainability. Moravia will inventory greenhouse gas emissions for government and community operations and use this information, along with lessons learned from recent flood events and future climate change projections, to inform updates to the plan regarding emergency preparedness, land use planning, adaptation projects, and enhanced natural resource management.

- The village of Homer received $200,000 for the Walkable Homer project. The town is constructing 708 feet of new sidewalk along Route 281 and make repairs to 2,192 feet of sidewalks on South Main Street to provide pedestrian access to the community's schools. Busing is not offered to students in the town center, so driving is a popular mode of transportation. Sidewalk expansion and improvement will encourage walking as an alternative, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and increase access to the downtown commercial and public centers of the town.

- The village of Pulaski was awarded $653,500 for its Village of Pulaski Sidewalks project. The village is constructing 1,584 feet of sidewalk along US Highway 11 to provide pedestrian access from the village to the high school, day care center, a proposed assisted living facility, and two apartment buildings. There are currently no sidewalks connecting these areas, and walking along the busy roadway is unsafe. The sidewalks will provide an alternative means of travel and result in a decrease of vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

Capital District

- The city of Glens Falls was awarded $43,500 for Climate Smart Communities Certification Actions. The city will work with the town of Queensbury to complete government and community greenhouse gas emissions inventories; develop a climate action plan; and assess government fleet inventory, operations, and policies in pursuit of Climate Smart Community Certification.

Under Cuomo, New York State is leading the nation in the transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy through innovative strategies including the Green New Deal, a goal to generate 100 percent of the state's electricity from carbon-free sources. These efforts are developing new economic opportunities and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and by 80 percent by 2050.

New York has long been a national leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a partner in the nation's first carbon dioxide trading program for power plants, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a model for the federal Clean Power Plan, as well as ongoing energy initiatives such as NY Green Bank, NY-Sun, Charge NY, NY Prize, and BuildSmart NY.

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