Valatie adopts wisdom of Climate Smart Communities

VALATIE–The Village Board passed two resolutions on climate change last week, one intended to make the village part of the state Climate Smart Communities program and the other endorsing a statement from the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) acknowledging that climate change is happening and promising to work with all levels of government to deal with the issue.

Board members Dave Williams and Anglo Nero voted against the resolutions, while Frank Bevens, Phil Bickerton and Mayor Diane Argyle voted in favor at the November 10 meeting.

Mayor Argyle pointed out that the village has been implementing some of the goals in the Climate Smart Communities resolution before the board agreed join to the program, saying that the board has researched using solar energy for the village and recently hosted an electronics recycling day.

“We’re already doing it,” she said of the Climate Smart Communities program, which asks municipalities to decrease energy use and increase each community’s use of renewable energy. The program was created by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and includes a pledge from communities to “set goals, inventory emissions, plan for climate action.”

The towns of Kinderhook, Hillsdale and Chatham, as well as the Village of Chatham, have also adopted Climate Smart Communities resolutions. A representative from the program attended the Chatham Town and Village Board meetings when the resolutions were passed in those municipalities. The official explained to both those boards that joining the program also involves a second step, which involves sending a signed resolution to the state.

Asked by the Columbia Paper about filing this document with the DEC, the mayor said that the Valatie Village clerk knew about the second step.

No members of the CCL attended the Valatie meeting, though CCL members were present at the Chatham meetings where similar resolutions were adopted. The CCL document, also known as the Cooperstown Resolution, says that the Village Board urges the county, state and federal government “to take prompt and effective measures to rapidly address climate change by promoting and encouraging a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and their associated infrastructure, improvement in the efficiency of energy systems and the development and installation of renewable energy systems.”

The resolution goes on to say that the municipality “stands ready to work with any level of government to achieve these goals, that will in the process create safe, sustainable jobs and provide real, clean energy solutions for generations to come.”

Also at the meeting:

  • The board agreed to replace a broken surveillance camera at Callan Park at a cost of $3,200. The camera is used by local law enforcement to monitor for vandalism and illegal activities in the park. Trustee Bevens said that footage from the park’s cameras had led to at least five arrests. “I know it’s a lot of money, but it’s stopped a lot of vandalism in the park,” he said of replacing the seven-year-old camera
  • Thomas Puchner was appointed to an open seat on the village Zoning Board of Appeals
  • The board designated Saturday, November 28 “Small Business Saturday” in the village to encourage people to shop at local businesses.

The next board meeting is Tuesday, December 8 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

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