LP Obtains Climate Smart Communities Bronze Certification | News, Sports, Jobs

LAKE PLACID — This week is Climate Week, and in honor of that, the state announced Monday that it has certified the Village of Lake Placid as one of New York’s newest Bronze Levels “Climate-Smart Communities.”

Climate Smart Communities is a program of the State Department of Environmental Conservation that aims to help local governments take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. Participating municipalities receive a certain number of points for each action they take, and a total of 120 points is required for bronze certification.

The Village of Lake Placid now has a bronze distinction, earning 131 points from 18 completed actions, after years of work that began with the formation of a joint CSC task force between the Village and the City of North Elba in 2018. Lake Placid also earned points for participating in national climate programs and partnerships, including climate-focused elements in the land use code and comprehensive plan, conducting a gas emissions inventory at greenhouse effect for government operations and launched a community composting program — Placid Earth — at Lake Placid District Central School, among other initiatives.

Lake Placid and North Elba Community Development Manager Haley Breen, who is also the village CSC point person, said the village electrical department was responsible for launching many points-generating items, such as the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles, the transition from decorative lighting in the village to LED. light bulbs, the purchase of electric vehicles and the installation of two energy-saving heat pumps.

Becoming a bronze-certified CSC comes with a host of benefits, including higher scores on annual DEC CSC grant applications. This year alone, the department is awarding about $14 million in CSC grants, according to the DEC website.

“The (CSC) program is great because it provides action guidance to help the village mitigate climate impacts, adapt to climate change and move towards greater sustainability and resilience,” Breen wrote in an email Monday. “The state offers many grant opportunities specifically to fulfill these actions, while completing them also improves eligibility for other grant opportunities.”

Breen said the village is looking to include more programs like these in its overall plan and in initiatives with the Lake Placid-North Elba Community Development Commission.

The village was also designated a few weeks ago as a clean energy community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, according to Breen. The CEC is another points-based program and it offers rewards to municipalities based on the points they have earned. Breen said the village is now eligible for a $5,000 reward pending approval of a clean energy project.

“This initial prize is modest, but municipalities can earn up to $100,000 in total,” she wrote.

Breen said the City of North Elba is working toward bronze-level CSC certification. She said the city and village plan to convene the CSC task force again this fall to move the city’s certification process forward.

Breen added that the city has the opportunity to work with Saranac Lake on its community campaign for clean heating and cooling with NYSERDA. The Village of Saranac Lake achieved CSC Bronze certification in 2020 after two years of work by its Climate Smart Community Task Force and local high school students.

Lake Placid’s new distinction as a bronze-level CSC was announced by the state Monday as one of 11 communities that recently pushed the total number of certified CSCs in the state to more than 100.

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