Climate Smart Communities Certification Report

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bronze Certified

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

New Paltz, Village (Ulster) was certified on March 12, 2020 with 158 points earned from 23 completed actions. Listed below is information regarding New Paltz, Village (Ulster)’s Climate Smart Communities efforts and materials associated with its certified actions.

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

Contact Information

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

Name:Jason West
Title:Mayor
Address:25 Plattekill Ave, PO Box 877
New Paltz, NY 12561

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which New Paltz, Village (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 is available online: https://www.villageofnewpaltz.org/climate-smart-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 Coordinator responsibility is stated by the Town and Village Boards being to achieve certification. The roll call vote is included.

    PE1 Action: National/Regional Climate Program

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of New Paltz is designated a New York State Clean Energy Community, has completed four of the ten high impact actions, and has received a $5000 NYSERDA grant. CEC map attached

    PE1 Action: Partnerships with Other Entities

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of New Paltz partnered with City of Beacon, Village of Cold Spring, Town of Fishkill, Town of Marbletown, Town of New Paltz, Town of Philipstown, City of Poughkeepsie, and Town of Red Hook in the Hudson Valley Community Power for CCA. Documentation (CCA Opt-Out letter) attached. The Village of New Paltz participated in the first Climate Action Planning Institute (CAPI) course with 7 other communities: Town of New Paltz, Gardiner, Saugerties, Phillipstown, Kingston, Marbletown, and Esopus . CAPI course outline and meeting slides (in lieu of minutes) attached.

  • 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 Village of New Paltz completed a GHGI for Government Operations for the base years 2016-2017. The inventory was created by Janelle Peotter, Climate Smart coordinator, and Amanda Gotto, Climate Smart project manager, with significant input from Village DPW secretary Heather Nielsen and tremendous guidance and support from Europa McGovern of HVRC. The GHG inventory was presented to the Village Board at their March 27 meeting and the final report was subsequently submitted in April, 2019. Both the slide presentation set and the final report are posted on the Village website. 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. The Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report for the Village of New Paltz is attached. It is publicly posted on the Village Climate Smart webpage: https://www.villageofnewpaltz.org/download/archives/sustainability_resources/new_paltz_climate_smart/greenhouse_gas_inventories/GHGI-Report-Village-of-New-Paltz-LGO-2016-base-final-for-VB.pdf

  • 3. Decrease energy use.

    PE3 Action: Energy Benchmarking for Government Buildings

    2 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of New Paltz received CEC approval for benchmarking. A screenshot of the CEC map has been uploaded as verification.

    PE3 Action: LED Street Lights

    8 Points

    Program Summary: The total number of street lights in the Village of New Paltz is 292, of which 11 are owned/maintained by the Town. All 292 street lights are in use (redacted Oct electric bill attached). Of the 292 total street lights, 158 have been converted to LEDs for a 54.1% conversion to date. Upgrade 50-74% of street lights to LED = 8 points The non-LED lights used 6464 kWh of electricity in Oct = average 48.2 KWh/non-LED light. The LED lights used 2977 KWh of electricity in Oct. = average 18.8 KWh/LED light

    PE3 Action: Energy Code Enforcement Training

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of New Paltz received CEC certification for Energy Code Enforcement Training. A screenshot of the CEC map has been uploaded for verification.

  • 4. Shift to clean, renewable energy.

    PE4 Action: Green Power Procurement Policy

    4 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of New Paltz adopted a policy to increase government use of renewable energy when the Board voted to switch to Green Mountain Energy as the ESCO for government operations. Evidence of this decision is documented on page two, bullet #10 of the uploaded minutes. Adopt a resolution or policy to increase government use of renewable = 2 points The Village of New Paltz implemented a plan for scaling up the percentage of energy sourced from renewables when the switch from a 20% green energy supplier in 2016 to a 100% green energy supplier in 2017 was made. Total GHG emissions from all energy sources for all local government operations in the Village of New Paltz were 568.1 tons of CO2e/year in 2016. Total GHG emissions dropped to 391.5 tons CO2e/year in 2017 due to the switch from a 20% green energy supplier to a 100% green energy supplier for electricity (except streetlights/signals) from Village of New Paltz GHGI report p 16, Conclusions: Key Findings (GHGI report attached) Develop a plan or strategy for increasing the use of renewables. 2

    PE4 Action: Solar Energy Installation

    9 Points

    Program Summary: Attached is the as-builts for the solar panels along with monthly meter logs from 2016-current. The police department part of the panels were shut off on 7/1/2018 and changed over to the Village Hall on 3/3/2010. In 9/2011, the inverter for the Fire Department was replaced. One of the ways the of announcing the installation for public education was a posting in the Hudson Valley Homegrown Energy and Resource map. Here is the link: https://www.opengreenmap.org/greenmap/hudson-valley-homegrown-energy-and-resource-map/town-and-village-new-paltz-solar-installation-7343

  • 6. Implement climate-smart land use.

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

    8 Points

    Program Summary: Mix land use = 1 point Promote compact building design and cluster development = 1 point Diversity of housing opportunities and choices = 1 point Walkable neighborhoods = 1 point Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place = 1 point Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and important natural areas = 1 point Strengthen and direct development toward existing community centers, hamlets or urban areas = 1 point Promote density that facilitates non-car transportation options = 1 point The Neighborhood Business Residential Mixed-Use Zoning District meets all the requirements of this element. The Neighborhood Business Residential (NBR) zoning district was established to promote the development of a neighborhood defined by a mix of residential, retail, service, professional, civic and cultural uses and to encourage travel by walking, bicycle, and mass transit. The NBR District aims to enhance the quality of the developed environment and promote site layout and architectural design compatible with the historic character of the Village of New Paltz community. In particular, development within the district shall be sensitive to and compatible with: a) the neighboring National Historic Landmark (HHS-Huguenot) District, b) the locally designated Historic District zone, c) The Historic Preservation Commission's Downtown Historic District Preservation Guidelines and Recommendations, and d) the downtown New Paltz properties defined by the 2009 State and National Register District. The two primary goals for the district are 1) encourage residential housing on the upper floors of multistory, mixed-use buildings, and 2) to foster a positive relationship between residential, retail and service/professional uses, while encouraging public transit use and reducing automobile trips and overbuilding of parking facilities, and the creation of a streetscape, which includes pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure https://ecode360.com/7239516 212-13 District Regulations G Neighborhood Business Residential Mixed-Use District (NBR)

    PE6 Action: Unified Solar Permit

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The Village of New Paltz received CEC approval for our Unified Solar Permit. We have uploaded a screenshot of CEC map as verification.

    6.7 Adopt Land-use Policies That Support or Incentivize Farmers’ Markets, Community Gardens and Urban and Rural Agriculture

    1 Points

    Program Summary: Chapter 70 - 1, part D of the Village of New Paltz code allows for the keeping of chickens as urban agriculture. We have uploaded the code as documentation.

    PE6 Action: Alternative-fuel Infrastructure

    6 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: NYSERDA CEC approval for EVSC. The Village of New Paltz installed a 2-port electric vehicle charging station at the Village Hall parking lot on Jan 9, 2018. Install 1 EV charging station or CNGV fueling station = 4 points This EVSC is available to the public 24/7 at no charge for the electricity used; the EVSC spot is metered at the rate of 50 cents/hour with a 2-hour limit to assure fair access to use for all. A recent (Dec 4, 2019) Charge Point notification for Village of New Paltz charging station is attached. The PlugShare map is attached. Make 1 or more EV charging ports or CNGV fueling pumps at any of the stations installed under this action available for public use = 2 points

    6.18 Develop a Local Forestry or Tree Planting Project or Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary: Conduct a tree canopy inventory = 3 points Tree Inventory Analysis (attached) Enact a tree preservation ordinance = 2 points Village Code Chapter 191 Trees (attached) We have uploaded our Tree Management Plan and the Tree Inventory Analysis. Village Code Chapter 191 "Trees" defines regulations for trees. https://ecode360.com/NE0076 Village Code Chapter 9-10 formed the Shade Tree Commission. Its functions and responsibilities are outlined below. The Board of Trustees declares that the protection, preservation, and maintenance of trees is necessary to protect the health and general welfare of the residents of the Village of New Paltz since trees are aesthetically appealing, provide environmental benefits and generally enhance the quality of life in the Village. The Board of Trustees hereby establishes a Shade Tree Commission, in accordance with the authority granted by Village Law § 17-1732, to exercise responsibility for the care and control of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery on lands owned by the Village and promulgates regulations for the protection of trees throughout the Village. To preserve the ecological health and aesthetic value of the Village of New Paltz, any resident, business or organization seeking to cut, top or remove a tree must submit a written request to the Shade Tree Commission prior to taking any action.

  • 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

    4 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. The Open Space Plan of 2006 identified Tributary 13, desired to be renamed Mill Brook as a priority wetlands area for conservation (Section 1, p 5) The Mill Brook Preserve Management Plan, pp 8.9, and 14 (attached) describe the value of the natural habitat and ecosystem resilience of the Mill Brook and its watershed and its prioritization in regional planning. Village of New Paltz has a joint conservation easement (attached) with the Town of New Paltz for the Millbrook Preserve.

  • 8. Support a green innovation economy.

    PE8 Action: Green Vendor Fairs

    2 Points

    Program Summary: In the past two years we have had annual Zero Emissions Parades with Green Vendor Fairs. Attached are the publicity posters documenting these two events. Also uploaded is the press release for our 2018 event that references the number of participants and the green vendors who tabled at this event.

    PE8 Action: Farmers’ Markets

    3 Points

    Program Summary: The link to the New Paltz Farmers Market is here: http://newpaltzfarmersmarket.org/ We have uploaded the 2019 Market Guidelines.

    PE8 Action: Community Choice Aggregation

    18 Points

    Program Summary: NYSERDA CEC map of Village approvals screen shot attached as well as the notification email documenting that we have demonstrated completion of the Community Choice Aggregation High Impact Action under NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities program. Population 5,000 to 39,999 = 18 points The population estimate for the Village of New Paltz census on July 1, 2018 was 7221 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: Over the past two years, the New Paltz Climate Smart Task Force has sponsored Community Potlucks in May. This year our the event was held on May 10th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the St Joseph's Church community room. The 2018 event was held on May 11th from 6:30 to 8:45 at the Community Center. We have uploaded the flyers that were used for promotional purposes for both years and the agenda used for this years event. The Village Mayor Tim Rogers has attended and spoken at both of our Community Climate Smart Potlucks. Also uploaded are photos from this years event and the sign in sheet to verify participation.

    PE9 Action: Social Media

    3 Points

    Program Summary: New Paltz Climate Smart makes use of social media to promote our clean energy and climate initiatives. We have a presence on Facebook, Instagram and Meetup and are considering the creation of a YouTube channel. All content is submitted or monitored by the Village and Town of New Paltz appointed Climate Smart Coordinator Janelle Peotter. We have been utilizing a SUNY New Paltz intern (Victoria Hilton) to help manage the posts for both Facebook and Instagram. Here is the link to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/newpaltzclimatesmart/posts/ We have been posting steadily on a whole variety of climate related events since April 2018. Our Instagram page can be found at https://www.instagram.com/newpaltzclimatesmart/ We have done 43 posts and have 270 followers on Instagram. We also use the Meetup platform to promote our monthly Meetups that focus on a variety of topics related to lifestyle changes that help mitigate and adapt to climate change. Here is the link to our Meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/New-Paltz-Climate-Change-Solutions-Meetup/ We have 86 members in our Meetup group. We have uploaded the stats of the Meetup group to show the fast growth of this group since our start in April of 2019.