The public Is invited to a stakeholder meeting on March 7 on the New York state Cleaner, Greener Communities Mohawk Valley Regional Sustainability Plan.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Robert McLaughlin College Center Auditorium at Herkimer County Community College.
A free buffet dinner will be provided from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for those who make reservations by Monday, March 4, to Steve Smith at the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, 866-4671 or email@example.com.
This will be the second of two public meetings scheduled on the program.
The initial workshop to collect public input to guide in the development of the Mohawk Valley’s plan took place in December 2012 during which the program’s consultants shared information about the plan that will seek to create green jobs, improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution. Leaders and community members were invited to ask questions and suggest ideas.
The session was led by Robert Singer, a project manager with Ecology and Environment, a Lancaster-based firm hired to oversee the first phase of the plan’s development.
The Cleaner, Greener Communities program was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011 as a $100 million competitive grant program to encourage communities to develop regional sustainable growth strategies. The program is intended to provide the necessary resources for each Regional Economic Development Council area to develop a comprehensive sustainability plan.
Singer told those gathered that the plan that will result from this process will establish a statewide sustainability planning framework that will aid in statewide infrastructure investment decision making; outline specific actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with a goal of 80 percent carbon reductions by the year 2050; inform municipal land use policies; serve as a basis for local government infrastructure decision making; help guide infrastructure investment of public and private resources and provide each region with a sustainability plan that will enable them to identify and prioritize projects they submit for consideration to the implementation stage.
Rebecca Flora, sustainable communities practice leader for Ecology and Environment, said the project will help the region think about its future and understand what is being used.
In the second phase of the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, Singer said, up to $90 million will be provided on a competitive basis statewide for implementation of specific projects that provide the greatest opportunities for achieving carbon reductions, energy efficiency savings and renewable energy deployment consistent with a region’s sustainability and economic development plans.
All 10 regions across the state already received $10 million each to start collecting data for the projects, according to Karen Sullivan, Otsego County planning director. Consultants hope this will benefit the regions by thinking about their futures whether or not they receive a portion of the grant.
The Mohawk Valley’s plan is scheduled to be completed by the end of March, according to Singer. He said this will allow the region to submit its plan to receive grant moneys to move onto the next phase.
Page 2 of 2 - More information regarding the program can be found at www.sustainablemohawkvalley.com.