Actions Items from Green Energy for Gardiner Meeting, 07.15.09
Participating: Andi Bartczak, Larry Braun, Lewis Eisenberg, Tanya Marquette,
Jean Tansey, Irwin Sperber
It was reported that Green Energy was identified as a priority by the Town Board at its July meeting. This was our first objective, and it has been accomplished. Our next objective is to have the TB pass a resolution in support of our agenda, raising our public profile. After much discussion, we agreed that the resolution should be a simple statement of the practical advantages of the green energy agenda (such as cost savings). We decided not to frame the resolution in the context of a response to the gathering storm of climate change because that would likely politicize this issue and make it more difficult to effect change.
ACTION ITEM #1
We now need to write a resolution to submit to the TB for their August 11 meeting.
We need someone to draft the resolution by August 1 and send it around for comments via email. Anyone interested in starting us off?
ACTION ITEM #2
We decided to name our group Green Energy Works for Gardiner. The choice was made to have a specific focus on energy rather than other aspects of ‘green’ such as recycling, etc. We will encourage people with interest in other green projects to form other committees to address these issues. We need someone to design a logo, a visual cue for helping people find out about our efforts. Anyone want to work on this?
ACTION ITEM #3
We decided to have a booth at Gardiner Day, 09.12.09.
Need to ID people who want to work on this project by August 1 in order to leave adequate planning time. Anyone interested?
Some things that need to be decided:
Should we invite green energy vendors and service providers to display too?
Should we stage brief educational demos for solar, etc. AB and IS have expressed interest in doing this.
What materials do we want to produce or copy for the booth table?
Who of us will agree to be there and talk to people?
ACTION ITEM #4 (sorta)
We also talked a little about other things we would like to do but these projects were less defined. We need to find people who want to think these things through and make them happen. That’s the only thing that keeps them from starting today. These projects include:
* Inventorying local green energy projects and setting up tours of the sites.
* Presenting a series of free public lectures and workshops on green energy topics. TM has said she’s interested.
* Creating a Green Energy Certification. JT says she’s interested in working on this.
* Working with town to identify green energy opportunities and write grants. LE is interested.
*Identifying green energy funding sources and tax incentives for businesses and residences
*Creating a web presence.
More about these next phase projects is appended.
LE will be point person for coordinating volunteers to work on any of the projects above or the ones attached. Everything is in play once the players show up! His contact info: 845-417-8034 or email@example.com.
New Paltz & Vicinity for Obama / Green Energy for Gardiner Committee
Contact: Lewis Eisenberg 845-417-8034; firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes from 29 May 2009 Meeting
Overall purpose is to develop a play book for Ulster County communities to use in adopting more sustainable energy practices for government, business and homes. Initially, we are focusing our efforts on the Town of Gardiner with the goal in mind of using our experiences there as a template that other towns can follow.
Our draft plan for Gardiner:
1) Survey residents and business owners about their degree of interest in sustainable energy practices; conduct a focus group.
2) Encourage the Gardiner Town Board to pass a resolution encouraging residents and businesses to reduce energy use and use sustainable generational methods; consider adopting DEC’s Climate Smart Communities program.
3) Research best practices in the greening of communities; Babylon, Long Island and Berkeley, CA are two known success stories.
4) Inventory grants, incentives and other funding available for municipalities, home owners and businesses, and ID key contacts. Special attention to funding grants for energy audits.
5) Plan, host or conduct a series of green energy workshops in: weatherization, energy star appliances, phantom currents, energy audits
and sustainable power options such as solar, geothermal, biomass and wind.
6) Engage residents and business in on-going efforts to educate town members about the importance of green energy in our future.
7) Host a Green Energy booth at Gardiner
Create a town energy officer position (volunteer); create town green energy web presence; provide answers to common questions and inventory resources and providers
9) Compile best practices inventory in Ulster County
10) Coordinate with Planning Board on encouraging green building in Gardiner
Minutes of Green Energy Task Force Meeting 05.19.09
Participating: Jean Tansey, Tanya Marquette, Denise Perretta, Marie Young, Lewis Eisenberg
Reports and updates: JT attended a meeting about updating Gardiner’s Master Plan and presented our committee’s Green agenda. Town officials were receptive to our project. Our next steps: get more specific about what we are offering and what help we would like from the town to support our work (such as copying materials and a page on the town website). JT will attend next MP workshop June 8. Meanwhile, all committee members (and interested non-members) are encouraged to think about what we need from Gardiner’s TB.
TM provided JT with names of Gardiner business people to contact regarding the planned survey. JT’s plan is to test questions on subjects before formulating a final survey instrument.
TM researched sources of funding and loans from NYSERDA and other sources. She says there is not much money out there but more is certainly in the next cycle given Obama’s green priorities. LE has yet to hear back from Energy Smart about the same subject. More specific information is needed for our town package. MY will contact RUPCO about the particulars of their weatherization program: who qualifies, what services are available and the limits of the program.
We have learned that New Paltz is reviewing its Master Plan, same as Gardiner. LE could not find any mention of green keywords in the 154 page document. We do not know if anyone in NP is advocating for green energy in the MP update. DP will attend the public meeting May 20 to get more information about what’s going on and to inform the TB about our committee’s activities in Gardiner. She will extend an invitation to
partner up. LE will call NP enviro-advocate Bob Hughes to get his read on the situation.
JT will contact Joe Hurwitz, a green architect who designed the town hall in Esopus which is supposed to be a very green building. The town has reportedly committed to a zero carbon footprint. We may be able to learn a lot from their example.
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, chair of UC’s environmental committee, has agreed to meet with the committee on May 29. We plan to put together a small representative team of stakeholders for this meeting.
The next meeting of the Green Energy Task Force is June 17 @ Gardiner Library, 6-7:15.
Minutes of Energy Committee Meeting, New Paltz Obamaites, 04.15.09
The committee decided to focus its short-term efforts on the Town of Gardiner.
The goal is to make a presentation to the Gardiner Town Board to get them to pass a resolution encouraging residents and businesses to become more green in thought and deed (reduce energy use, use sustainable generational methods where possible). There is an unfulfilled provision in their Master Plan which says just that and this resolution would build that out. One town board member told LE that he thought the town would be receptive to such an idea. LE will feel out other TB members and, if the stars align, schedule the presentation for early June.
As part of this process, the committee agreed to provide the town board with a green ‘package’ containing context for considering the resolution and a framework for implementing it.
TM will research best practices in the greening of communities; Babylon, Long Island and Berkeley, CA are two known success stories. LE will research Joel Tyner’s website; JT is a Dutchess County legislator and a green energy advocate. TM will also contact Pat Courtney Strong to get a better idea of what kind of grants, incentives and other funding are available for municipalities, home owners and businesses.
JT will create a survey instrument to gauge interest in greening among residents and business owners. A focus group is planned to lay the foundations for the final survey.
The results will be presented to the board to demonstrate some degree of public interest.
Thinking a bit further down the road, the group considered what programs or services it might provide to the town to encourage participation. Suggestions included workshops in weatherization, recycling and household energy efficiency. What used to be called teach-ins in the glorious ‘60’s were also discussed regarding sustainable power options such as solar, geothermal, biomass and wind.
It was noted that GAB, the Gardiner Association of Business, had recently hosted a panel discussion on green energy (mostly), and would be a likely source of people for the planned focus group.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 6-7 PM in the Gardiner Library’s Community Room.