Grants Support New York State's Climate Goals through Greenhouse Gas Reductions, Climate Change Adaptation, and Community Resilience
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Climate Smart Communities Grant program is awarding more than $11.6 million to 25 municipalities across the state. Funding helps municipalities afford projects that will often save taxpayer dollars over the long term while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping communities adapt to the ongoing impacts of climate change, including reducing flood risk, relocating or retrofitting critical infrastructure, and increasing community resilience to extreme weather.
"The significant funding under New York's Climate Smart Communities Program is critical in supporting local efforts to protect residents and infrastructure from the effects of climate change," Governor Hochul said. "We continue to see increasingly extreme weather each year and these grants help empower locally-driven, bold action to help meet New York's ambitious climate goals while setting an example for other municipalities to follow."
Established in 2016, the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program is a competitive 50/50 matching grant program for municipalities to implement projects focused on climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation. Project types also include certain planning and assessment projects that are part of a strategy to achieve Climate Smart Communities certification. Of the total grant funds awarded this round under the implementation and certification categories respectively, 36 percent was awarded to implementation projects located in disadvantaged communities that face a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution, and 66 percent was awarded to certification projects by municipalities that contain a disadvantaged community, as identified by the Climate Justice Working Group's draft criteria.
The program also supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. Since the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program's inception, DEC has awarded more than $50 million to municipalities in support of local climate mitigation and adaptation projects. More information about this grant program is available on the DEC website.
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Seggos said, "These Climate Smart Communities recognized today are powerful examples of what municipalities and local leaders can do to reduce pollution and protect residents from severe weather and the consequences of our changing climate. Governor Hochul recognizes the severity of the climate challenges before us and these substantial grants support New York State's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping all cities, towns, and villages, especially environmental justice communities, become stronger and more resilient."
The 2022 Climate Smart Communities Grant awards are:
Albany County - $35,000
Climate Action Plan: Albany County will develop its first-ever climate action plan, which will cover both government operations and the entire community. The plan will rely on data from the greenhouse gas inventories currently underway to identify targets and actions for emissions reductions.
Village of Cambridge - $30,000
Complete Streets Policy Implementation Plan: The village of Cambridge will develop a complete streets policy and implementation plan. The policy and implementation plan will include an assessment of existing bike and pedestrian infrastructure, prioritization of recommended improvements, and preliminary engineering feasibility of new pedestrian enhancements along the Route 313 corridor.
Town of Glenville - $575,000
Freemans Bridge Road Complete Streets: The town of Glenville will finish transforming Freemans Bridge Road into a 'complete street.' The project will add one mile of new sidewalk between Dutch Meadows Lane and Route 50, contrasting color and textured crosswalks, and pedestrian traffic signals. Three additional CDTA bus stops will also be added along the corridor, increasing access to transit.
Town of Halfmoon - $232,000
Erie Canal Towpath Trail Link: The town of Halfmoon will complete a 4,175-foot bike trail segment along the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway, which connects the city of Schenectady with the village of Waterford and the city of Cohoes. Construction will consist of an eight-foot wide 1,925-foot multi-use path and a 2,250-foot shared road segment with markings, traffic, and wayfinding signage, crosswalks, and stone bollards along Towpath Road, between Beach Road and Clamsteam Road. Completion of the trail through the town will make the entire corridor a more viable route for non-motorized transportation.
City of Saratoga Springs - $37,500
Government Operations Climate Action Plan: The Saratoga Springs Climate Action Plan (CAP) will enable the city to take crucial steps to mitigate its contribution to climate change. With coordination across five municipal departments, the CAP will set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and provide a framework to achieve these targets.
Central New York
Village of Pulaski - $900,000
Delano Street Sidewalk: The village of Pulaski will build new sidewalk connecting a low-income senior citizen apartment complex, a medical facility, 52 low-income apartments, the American Legion, a manufacturing facility, a mini-mart, the Alternate School, and the Haldane Recreation Center.
Village of Sharon Springs - $500,000
Relocation and Greenspace Project: The village of Sharon Springs will relocate the Department of Public Works (DPW) garage, currently located within a 100-year floodplain, to a site near the existing water treatment facility. The DPW building sustained substantial damage in larger flooding events and is prone to nuisance flooding. A new, energy-efficient garage with LED lighting and a geothermal heating system will be constructed. The existing building will be demolished, and the site converted to greenspace as an expansion of the adjacent park.
Village of West Winfield - $55,350
Comprehensive Plan: The village of West Winfield will create a comprehensive plan for the next 20 years. The plan will further community development by defining the village's approach to land use and integrating concerns around sustainability and climate change.
City of Plattsburgh - $400,000
Bike Friendly Plan Implementation - Safe Routes to School: The city of Plattsburgh will widen sidewalks along 0.37 miles of Oak Street to five feet wide; restripe crosswalks; and also add signage, pedestrian signal equipment, and bike lanes. These improvements will provide a safe walking and biking route for students to the Oak Street elementary school and ultimately reduce reliance on automobile transportation and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Monroe County - $150,000
Climate Vulnerability Assessment: As the first step in developing a climate adaptation plan, Monroe County will complete a vulnerability assessment. The Climate Vulnerability Assessment will identify, analyze, and prioritize the effects of climate hazards on specific population segments, assets, and the entire community.
Monroe County - $200,000
Climate Adaptation Plan: Following the completion of its vulnerability assessment, Monroe County will develop a climate adaptation plan. The plan will analyze the demographic makeup of the community, convene a diverse and representative group of stakeholders, and implement a public engagement strategy.
Monroe County - $100,000
Organics Management Plan: Monroe County will hire a consultant to prepare an organics management plan as part of the local solid waste management plan. The local solid waste management plan is set to expire in 2025, and the current version was written before the New York State Food Scraps Recycling Law went into effect.
City of Rochester - $1,000,000
Bus Stop Improvement Project: Many of the city of Rochester's most heavily utilized bus stops lack amenities and/or Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, resulting in a difficult and uncomfortable experience for many people, especially those with disabilities. This project will upgrade 125 bus stops with a combination of shelters, benches, bus cubes, lighting, signage, curb bump outs, and/or additional components to comply with the ADA.
City of Rochester - $52,500
Climate Action Plans and Municipal Fleet Management: The city of Rochester will update its community-wide and government climate action plans, complete a municipal fleet inventory, and develop a fleet efficiency policy. The project will develop new greenhouse gas reduction targets, set a fuel-efficiency standard for the city fleet, and provide guidelines for other strategies to reduce emissions and costs.
Town of Brookhaven - $910,000
Bellhaven Flood Mitigation Project: The town of Brookhaven will increase the resiliency of the end of Bellhaven Road. This road is regularly impacted by cyclic tides and storm surges. Project work includes raising the road, providing additional storage for stormwater, and increasing areas of natural absorption. Best management practices that incorporate green infrastructure, water quality, increased retention, and disconnection of direct discharges will be utilized.
Village of Irvington - $1,136,000
Route 9 Flood Mitigation Project: The village of Irvington will design and construct drainage improvements along Harriman Road/U.S. Route 9, where the existing culvert is inadequate to convey the volume of runoff during medium and large precipitation events. Flooding regularly requires these busy roads to be closed for hours, prohibiting emergency access. The project will also mitigate flooding for residential developments and multi-family properties along the route.
Town of Kent - $45,000
Bike and Pedestrian Improvement Plan: The town of Kent will develop a bicycle and pedestrian plan to identify multi-modal transportation improvements throughout the community, thereby creating additional transportation options and reducing reliance on traveling by car. The town will assemble an advisory committee, complete a traffic audit, and produce a plan to outline objectives for improving existing infrastructure.
City of Kingston - $50,000
Citywide Refrigerant Management Program: The city of Kingston will develop a municipal refrigerant management plan, including an implementation program, to address the city's purchasing, management, and disposal of refrigerants. The project aims to educate staff about the dangers of refrigerants to the climate as well as reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerant sources.
City of New Rochelle - $100,000
Evaluation of Policies for Climate Resilience: New Rochelle's Climate Resilience Policy Evaluation will guide resilient procedures and policymaking with three focused components: (1) Metrics for environmental, social and governance issues and an annual reporting framework; (2) Heat emergency plan policy evaluation; (3) A coastal resilience policy evaluation.
Town of Putnam Valley - $40,000
Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Inventory: The town of Putnam Valley will complete a greenhouse gas inventory for government operations, further advancing the town toward becoming a bronze-certified Climate Smart Community. The inventory will help the town prioritize actions and garner local support for a climate action plan, which will include short- and long-term investments and policies to conserve energy and reduce emissions.
Sullivan County - $100,000
Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan: Sullivan County will develop a bicycle and pedestrian plan focused on improving the safety, comfort, and convenience of these alternative transportation modes. The plan will encourage healthy and active transportation while avoiding emissions associated with combustion engines typically used for transportation in rural upstate New York.
Ulster County - $1,684,980
Golden Hill Renewable Energy Project: Ulster County will partner with Family of Woodstock, Ulster County Housing Development Corporation, and a developer to build the Golden Hill affordable housing project in the city of Kingston. This will be an all-electric, mixed-income, inter-generational housing development with a 600-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, 80 units of senior housing, 84 affordable units serving those with 30 percent to 130 percent of the area median income, and a 5,000-square-foot community building. This grant will go toward the cost of the solar system.
City of Ithaca - $851,450
Downtown Ithaca Transportation Demand Management 2023+: The city of Ithaca will expand the GO ITHACA transportation demand management (TDM) program beyond downtown to service East Ithaca, South Hill, Northwest Ithaca, West Hill, The Flats, Lansing, Cayuga Heights, and Northeast Ithaca. TDM is the application of strategies, policies, and user benefits to shift travel behavior from single occupancy vehicles to public and active modes of transportation, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
Village of Owego - $125,000
Flood Risk Reduction through the Community Rating System: Owego will hire a technical assistance contractor to help the village reduce its flood risk by participating in the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that rewards communities for floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements.
Town of Ulysses - $55,404
Climate Smart Comprehensive Plan Update Project: The town of Ulysses will update its 2009 comprehensive plan. The planning process will identify community goals for priorities like economic development, recreation, agriculture, and housing, while thoroughly incorporating the latest concepts of sustainability, climate change, and smart growth.
Western New York
Town of Amherst - $2,000,000
Northtown Center Ice Rink Refrigeration Upgrades: The town of Amherst will replace an existing refrigeration system at the Northtown Center. The existing chiller at the north-end ice plant will be replaced with a climate-friendly carbon dioxide chiller capable of servicing two ice rinks. Due to greater energy efficiency, the project expects greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 1,082 tons and energy savings of $193,714 annually.
City of Buffalo - $140,000
Community Climate Action and Adaptation Plan: The city of Buffalo will develop a community climate action and adaptation plan that includes a community greenhouse gas inventory. The project will contribute to the city's application for designation as a silver-certified Climate Smart Community.
Village of Lancaster - $100,000
Joint Town/Village Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiatives: The project will produce a community greenhouse gas inventory covering emissions from both the village and town of Lancaster. In addition, the town and village will develop a joint climate action plan focused on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations.
Climate Smart Communities Program
These grants are part of New York's interagency Climate Smart Communities Program to support community engagement in local climate action. There are currently 369 registered Climate Smart Communities, representing more than 9.4 million New Yorkers. To be designated a registered community, municipalities make a commitment to act on climate change by passing a formal resolution that includes a 10-point pledge. Since 2014, 100 municipalities have completed the rigorous review process to be designated as certified Climate Smart Communities. These certified communities have gone beyond the pledge to complete and document a suite of actions that mitigate and adapt to climate change at the local level. More information about the certification program is available at: https://climatesmart.ny.gov/
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2021, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
About the Consolidated Funding Application
The Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here.
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