Climate Smart Communities Certification Report

Download PDF Version

bronze Certified

This is the Climate Smart Communities Certification Report of New Paltz, Town (Ulster). New Paltz, Town (Ulster) is a bronze certified Climate Smart Community.

New Paltz, Town (Ulster) was certified on March 12, 2020 with 158 points earned from 21 completed actions. Listed below is information regarding New Paltz, Town (Ulster)’s Climate Smart Communities efforts and materials associated with its certified actions.

The certification for New Paltz, Town (Ulster) will expire on August 31, 2025.

Contact Information

The designated Climate Smart Communities contact for New Paltz, Town (Ulster) is:

Name:Janelle Peotter
Title:Volunteer CSC Coordinator
Address:227 Mountain Rest Road
New Paltz, NY 12561

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which New Paltz, Town (Ulster) was approved for in 2020 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • 1. Build a climate-smart community.

    1.1 Pass a Resolution Adopting the CSC Pledge

    4 Points

    Program Summary:

    PE1 Action: CSC Task Force

    20 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary: More information about the New Paltz CSC task force can be found online: https://www.townofnewpaltz.org/climate-smart-communities-task-force We have had a very active task force since early 2018. We meet every third Monday of the month from 7:00 to 9:00. An agenda is issued prior to the meeting by the coordinator and a member of the task force takes minutes. The task force members have changed over time as some members have left the community or graduated from SUNY New Paltz. We regularly add to new members to the task force to keep the momentum moving forward. In addition to working on requirements for certification the group also oversees eight action groups that were developed in response to a community wide meeting that was held in May of 2018. The items submitted as supporting documentation include the resolution formalizing the Climate Smart Task Force, meetings from four of our monthly meetings held in the past year, and a list of our task force members and the organizations they represent.

    PE1 Action: CSC Coordinator

    10 Points
    Bronze Mandatory Silver Mandatory

    Program Summary: The attached document dated April 5, 2018 is the joint resolution of the boards of both the Town of New Paltz and the Village of New Paltz designating Janelle Peotter as the New Paltz Climate Smart Communities Coordinator. The role of the Coordinator is stated to be to achieve certification. The roll call vote is included.

    PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of New Paltz joined ICLEI for 2019. The annual membership payment of $600.00 was made on 2/22/2019 with voucher #120171. Copy of Town of New Paltz warrants issued in Feb 2019 attached. Redacted copy of State ID Voucher for DEC grant attached. The Town of New Paltz is also a designated Clean Energy Community, has completed 5 High Impact Action Items, and received a $5000 NYSERDA grant. Screenshot of CEC map attached.

    PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of New Paltz Board of Trustees and the Village of New Paltz Board of Trustees meet jointly once per month on the second week of every month. They alternate between the Town and Village meeting locations. We are uploading minutes from three joint board meetings hosted by each. Some of the environmental topics that were covered in the 2018/2019 meetings were: the joint resolution for the Climate Smart Communities Task Force and Coordinator, Community GHGI, Climate Change Vulnerability assessment and workshop, and Community Choice Aggregation.

  • 2. Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action.

    PE2 Action: Government Operations GHG Inventory

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: With aid of the Hudson Valley Regional Council's Climate Action Planning Institute 2018-2019 program the Town of New Paltz completed a GHGI for Government Operations for the base years 2013-2014 and 2016-2017. The inventory was created by Janelle Peotter, Climate Smart coordinator, and Amanda Gotto, Climate Smart project manager, with significant input from Town Finance Officer Jean Galluci and tremendous guidance and support from Europa McGovern of HVRC. The GHG inventory was presented to the Town Board at their March 21 meeting and the final report was subsequently submitted in April, 2019. Both the slide presentation set and the final report are posted on the Town website. http://www.townofnewpaltz.org/sites/newpaltzny/files/u93/ghgi_reporttown_of_new_paltz_lgo_2016-2017_base_final_for_tb.pdf The slide set was also presented to the Climate Smart Task Force at their March 2019 meeting, at the New Paltz Earth Day fair in April, at the Climate Smart Annual community outreach pot luck in May, and at the Wallkill River Regatta in June.

  • 3. Decrease energy use.

    PE3 Action: Energy Benchmarking for Government Buildings

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The Town of New Paltz received CEC approval for Energy Benchmarking for Government Buildings.

    PE3 Action: LED Street Lights

    7 Points

    Program Summary: The total number of street lights in the Town of New Paltz is 106, all of which are in use (redacted Oct electric bill attached). Of the 106 total street lights, 32 have been converted to LEDs for a 30.2% conversion to date. The non-LED lights used 4726 kWh of electricity in Oct = average 63.86 KWh/non-LED light. The LED lights used 809 KWh of electricity in Oct. = average 25.28 KWh/LED light Upgrade 25-49% of street lights to LED = 7 points

    PE3 Action: Energy Code Enforcement Training

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Attached is our copy of the certificate of completion from NYSERDA of the Clean Energy Communities Program Energy Code Enforcement Training High Impact Action.

  • 5. Use climate-smart materials management.

    PE5 Action: Resource Recovery Center

    6 Points

    Program Summary: Here is the link to the New Paltz "Zero Waste Program" and the New Paltz Reuse Program: http://newpaltzreuse.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Zero-waste-doc.pdf https://www.newpaltzreuse.org/ In 2011, New Paltz was offered the opportunity to partner with EPA as one of thirteen municipalities nationally to participate in a zero waste initiative. New Paltz has created a zero waste action plan which was adopted by both Village and Town boards leading the way to achieve its 2018 zero waste goals. Zero Waste Action Plan Although New Paltz operates a municipal drop-off center and accepts garbage from permitted users for a fee see 2019-Fee-Schedule it strongly encourages waste reduction, diversion and recycling. The mission of the New Paltz ReUse Center and Municipal Recycling Drop-Off Center is to create a sustainable standard of living by promoting local purchasing, creating green jobs and diverting usable materials out of the waste stream through a sustainable materials management program. Start up funding for the ReUse Center was received from the NYSDEC to implement the waste diversion program including a new building to store reusable items. A large part of this program is education including monthly workshops or swaps. New Paltz received national recognition. 2017 award for the Food Recovery and Waste Reduction program. NYSDEC uses the Town of New Paltz ReUse Center as an example in their "Links to additional resources or best practices". We have uploaded the brochure for the New Paltz ReUse Center. The ReUse Center continues to be currently active as evidenced by the uploaded 2019 ReUse Center Fee Schedule.

  • 6. Implement climate-smart land use.

    6.2 Incorporate Smart Growth Principles into Land-use Policies and Regulations

    8 Points

    Program Summary: Town of New Paltz updated zoning of the Highway Business zone into 3 zones to provide mixed use (business + residential that will allow for more density with non-car transportation options), require shared/reduced parking spaces, require more compact commercial building footprints, provide for diverse housing choices (apartments above retail as well as single family), less autocentric/more multimodal transportation emphasis including bicycle and walking paths, require more open space/re-define impermeable surface to include parking and driveways, and recognize and support sustainable growth and development especially in the Ohioville hamlet. Town Code is attached. Specifc excerpts from Town Code and Comprehensive Plan attached.

    PE6 Action: Unified Solar Permit

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Attached is the Unified Solar Permit Application for the Town of New Paltz. Attached is the screen shot of the CEC map showing approval for Town of New Paltz Unified Solar Permit

    PE6 Action: Alternative-fuel Infrastructure

    6 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: An electric vehicle charging station consisting of two Level 2 charging ports was purchased and installed by the Town of New Paltz at the municipal Community Center parking lot on 12 Dec 2017 and is currently in use as shown by recent user bill (attached). The Town of New Paltz received CEC approval for this action (Clean Fleets). Screen shot of CEC map and Town approvals attached. This EV charging station is installed on public property at the Community Center parking lot and is available for use 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. There no charge for parking, users are charged per KWh used. PlugShare map screenshot attached.

    6.18 Develop a Local Forestry or Tree Planting Project or Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Conduct a tree canopy inventory = 3 points The Tree Inventory Analysis and Tree Management Plan are attached Enact a tree preservation ordinance = 2 points Town Code Chapter 130 Tree Conservation is the tree preservation ordinance. https://ecode360.com/9167963 Code of Town of New Paltz .

    6.19 Preserve Natural Areas Through Zoning or Other Regulations

    6 Points

    Program Summary: Develop and implement a local zoning ordinance that helps to conserve natural areas = 4 points. Town Code sets forth local ordinances to conserve natural areas in 1) Chapter 44 Agricultural and Open Space Section Preservation and Acquisition which establishes the regulations for identifying and protecting significant natural areas 2) Chapter 140 Article XI Wallkill River Recreation Overlay District which describes provisions for protection of this important resource 3) Chapter 139 Wetlands and Watercourse Protection which provides for protection of designated wetlands Base local ordinance on strategic conservation of high value areas identified in a natural resource inventory = 2 points The Open Space Plan of 2006 (p 5) and the underlying Open Space Inventory of 2003 (p 25) identified the areas that the community deemed high value natural resources and formed the basis for local ordinances to conserve these areas. These areas - particularly the Wallkill River and its floodplain, several local wetlands and watercourses, existing farmlands between Rte 299/Libertyville Rd and between the Thruway/S Putt Corners/ Rte 32, and the Millbrook/Tributary 13 - are specifically regulated in local ordinances named above as well as more generally in Town Code Part II /Subdivision of Land Chapter 121-2 A) (3) The proposed subdivision plan shall, where practicable, protect significant cultural landmarks and resources and their surrounding visual context; protect significant agricultural lands and resources; and encourage protection of the rural appearance of the Town of New Paltz, including the preservation of valued natural features, such as open space, significant view sheds, streams, ponds, fields, trees, and critical habitat areas, and artifacts, such as stone walls. .

  • 7. Enhance community resilience to climate change.

    PE7 Action: Climate Vulnerability Assessment

    16 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: Comprehensive vulnerability assessment, covering the entire community and all relevant climate hazards, including future projections = 16 points A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment was conducted by Kale Roberts of ICLEI and was funded in part by The Climate Smart Communities Grant Program, Title 15 of the Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. New Paltz is the first community in NYS that for which ICLEI has conducted a climate change vulnerability assessment and future projections utilizing their TEMPERATE software. The ICLEI TEMPERATE software averages data from 31 climate models for the specific location of an entire community, in this case New Paltz (Town and Village, latitude 41.74° N, longitude 74.09° W ). All potential climate–related hazards were evaluated and the top 11 that were most relevant (slide #33) to the location of New Paltz were identified and sorted based on future predictions to produce significant, moderate, or minimal effects as compared to historical data from 1970 (report, Table 1, p 9). The future projections covered intervals from 2020 to 2100. The results in a slide presentation (attached) were presented to a joint Town/Village Board meeting on July 10,2019, and posted on the Town and Village websites. The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Future Projections report (attached) will be incorporated into a larger final report that will also propose climate adaptation strategies to address the impact these vulnerabilities present for community infrastructures and facilities.

    PE7 Action: Conserve Natural Areas

    8 Points

    Program Summary: Four points are available for each separate and distinct priority natural area conserved, up to four different areas in the community (for a maximum of 16 points). The mechanism of conservation may take the form of conservation easements, land acquisition, changes to zoning, or other land-use regulations that provide near permanent protection of the natural area. The area must have value for natural habitat connectivity/species migration and ecosystem resilience under climate change. In addition, to be eligible for points, the conserved area must be identified as a priority in a formally adopted planning document, such as the comprehensive plan, natural resources inventory, or open space plan. Open Space Plan of 2006 (attached) details these areas for conservation: Scenic View from Rte 299 west of the Wallkill River and Tributary 13 (desired to be renamed Mill Brook) (Section 1, p 5.) (attached) The New Paltz Farmland Preservation Plan of 2011 p 6, (attached) lays out the goal of preserving farmland in the Town for ecosystem resiliency: New Paltz has 3,003 recorded farmland acres divided into 53 parcels, making up less than 13% of the town’s total land mass. Approximately half of this acreage is not being actively farmed at this time, although the parcels remain in one of two Agricultural Districts. These lands offer watershed protection, wildlife habitat, scenic views, are valuable to the local tourist economy, and may have the potential to be returned to agricultural use. Some of these properties are under conservation easements, but for others the threat of development is an important concern. Millbrook Preserve conservation easement (attached) was accomplished = 4 points The Taliaferro (farm and riparian land) Conservation Easement (attached) was executed in cooperation with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust = 4 points. The River-to-Ridge trail was supported by the Town in conjunction with the Open Space Institute (OSI) https://www.openspaceinstitute.org/news/the-open-space-institute-opens-river-to-ridge-trail-in-new-paltz = 4 points

    7.17 Conserve Wetlands and Forests to Manage Stormwater, Recharge Groundwater and Mitigate Flooding

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Conduct an analysis to identify important forests and wetlands in the community, including watershed boundaries, and prioritize key areas for conservation = 1 point The analysis for the Open Space Plan Section 1 p 5 (attached) identified and prioritized woodlands and watersheds. Incorporate conservation of unprotected wetlands and forests into site plan and subdivision regulations, performance standards, or other land use regulations= 2 points Town Code Chapter 139 Wetlands and Watercourse Protection (attached) - provides for conservation of unprotected wetlands and forests in site plans and subdivisions; Town of New Paltz Wetlands and Watercourse Referral Regulated Activities Long Form Application (attached) is required for any site plan or subdivision. Develop a local wetland protection ordinance = 2 points Town Code Chapter 139 Wetlands and Watercourse Protection is the local wetlands protection ordinance Conserve one high-priority priority wetland or forest areas = 1 point The Millbrook Preserve Easement conserved a high-priority wetland

  • 8. Support a green innovation economy.

    PE8 Action: Green Vendor Fairs

    2 Points

    Program Summary: Our annual Welcome to Winter green vendor fair was held most recently on November 21st. We have uploaded the flyer that documents the date and location of the event along with some of the list of vendors in attendance. We had over 115 in attendance. We have also uploaded the spreadsheet of the complete list of all vendors. Climate Smart Task Force members in attendance included Mark Varian, Orelle Feher, Liz Elkin, Wendy Rudder, Janelle Peotter, and Amanda Gotto.

    PE8 Action: Community Choice Aggregation

    18 Points

    Program Summary: NYSERDA CEC map of Town approvals screen shot attached Population 5,000 to 39,999 = 18 points The Town of New Paltz census in 2010 was 14003. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/newpaltztownulstercountynewyork/POP010210#POP010210

  • 9. Inform and inspire the public.

    PE9 Action: Climate-related Public Events

    3 Points

    Program Summary: A workshop on how the Town and Village of New Paltz are vulnerable to climate change, identification of municipal locations and services that will be affected by climate change and prioritization of 2-3 for development of an adaptation strategy was held on Dec 4 at the Village Hall. ICLEI was a partner with the Climate Smart Task Force in conducting the workshop. The workshop was open to the public, noticed on the Town and Village websites, broadcast on the local station, and taped for subsequent viewing. The Town and Village Board members as well as members of the Climate Smart Task Force and Climate Action Coalition were participants in the workshop. Website post https://www.townofnewpaltz.org/home/news/climate-change-vulnerability-workshop-with-the-town-and-village-boards-village-hall-dec4. Agenda is attached. Attendee sign-in sheet is attached.