Ogdensburg sets goals as part of Clean Energy Communities program

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OGDENSBURG — The city of Ogdensburg has agreed to work together with the Adirondack North Country Association to participate in a program that rewards achieving energy-related benchmarks with potential grant funding of up to $50,000.

The Clean Energy Communities program potentially provides state money that in turn can be used for continuing energy-saving upgrades within a municipality, according to officials.

In a recent memo to City Council, Ogdensburg Planning and Development Director Andrea Smith said she is networking with officials involved with the program, including Jamie Rogers from ANCA.

“Specifically, we discussed what the city is currently doing, or has recently done to assess and reduce energy use at the municipal level,” Ms. Smith said.

Adirondack North Country Association officials are working together with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy on the Clean Energy Communities program, according to Ms. Smith. The goal is to help implement clean energy actions, reduce energy costs, create jobs and improve the environment at the local level.

Communities interested in participating in the program — and potentially receiving grant money as a result — are required to first complete at least four of 10 designated energy saving actions.

Some of those actions have already been undertaken in Ogdensburg, according to city officials, including the replacement of 87 halide light fixtures with Light Emitting Diode technology. The city has also already achieved another one of the prescribed benchmarks by issuing as many as 13 solar project permits since 2015.

City Council voted unanimously Monday to formally sign onto the program and to help identify opportunities to cut energy costs and reduce pollution in Ogdensburg.

Mr. Rogers, who spoke at the meeting, said there are 14 awards of up to $50,000 available for municipalities with a population of 40,000 and under. He said given Ogdensburg’s track record in already working to reduce energy costs, there is a pretty good chance the community could be selected if it applies through the Clean Energy Communities program.

“Out of those 14 awards, six communities have now been designated CEC communities, so I have eight awards open,” he said. “There’s a pretty good shot that you could pull four off here rather quickly, and then you’d be in the running for the $50,000. With that said, I’m not guaranteeing you anything but you still have a shot at it.”

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