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Climate Smart Communities

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program creates a network of New York municipalities seeking to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, while reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and increasing communities’ resiliency to impacts of climate change. Dutchess County leaders, the County Executive, and the Chairman of the Legislature have determined that involvement in these programs can help reduce overall energy usage and its associated costs, and increase the use of renewable energy sources, both in government facilities and the community at large. The program also provides guidance to local governments on best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change and offers a source of matching grants for projects that advance stated goals.

As of September 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced that Dutchess County has earned Bronze-level certification in the New York State-Certified Climate Smart Community program. 

New York State of Opportunity: Climate Smart Communities Certified Bronze

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Task Force

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Task Force was established to review the elements of the Climate Smart Communities program in order to certify Dutchess County as a Bronze Level CSC within 12-18 months. The Task Force will be responsible for gathering the necessary data, conducting any required studies and submitting documentation to the NYSCSC program through its online portal.

As of September 27, 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced that Dutchess County has earned Bronze-level certification in the New York State-Certified Climate Smart Community program. Through the diligence of the CSC Task Force, the County received its certification in just ten months, completing the mandatory actions and documenting enough priority actions to earn 122 points in the program’s rating system. For more information on the new designation, please see the following press release and the CSC Certification Report, which catalogues the actions that the County received credit for Bronze-level certification.

Visit the NYS website for more information about the Climate Smart Communities Program.

Task Force Members

The Board includes 7 members appointed by the County Executive, 7 members appointed by the Chairperson of the County Legislature, and 1 member appointed jointly.

  • Devin Rigolino (Co-Chair & CSC Coordinator), Dutchess County Planning and Development
  • Gary Bassett, Village of Rhinebeck
  • Mary Ann Cunningham, Vassar College
  • Melissa Everett, Sustainable Hudson Valley
  • Carolyn Klocker, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
  • Evelina Knodel, MASS Design Group 
  • Michael Lauchaire, Central Hudson Gas & Electric
  • Europa McGovern, City of Poughkeepsie resident 
  • Allan Page, A. Page & Associates LLC
  • Eleanor Peck, Hudson Valley Regional Council
  • Brian Scoralick, DC Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Nancy Severns, Dutchess County Environmental Management Council
  • Kelsey West (Co-Chair), Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County

Task Force Committees

Committees are needed to allow the DC Climate Smart Communities Task Force to accomplish its mission by advancing program components between the Task Force’s quarterly meetings. These committees will report on work, propose courses of action, and make recommendations for decisions by the whole Task Force. Committees are composed of Task Force members, County and/or municipal staff, and other volunteers with expertise in the respective field. To nominate a person for membership on a committee, please have the potential committee member send a letter of interest with a brief resume to drigolino@dutchessny.gov; information will be forwarded to the Chair of the involved Committee for consideration. As a potential volunteer, if you receive an inquiry of interest to become involved in a committee, please also forward that on to the same email address and it will be followed up on.

DC Climate Smart Communities Task Force Committees include:

  • Renewables and Energy Efficiency Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to efforts to reduce energy use and utilize green energy systems, including conducting energy audits and improving infrastructure/facilities to be more environmentally friendly and efficient.
  • Transportation Efficiencies Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to current transportation efforts, including public transit usage, local bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and vehicle fleet efficiency, among others. This committee is working in cooperation with the Dutchess County Transportation Council and Dutchess County Public Transit to forward these goals.
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories & Climate Action Plans Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to the development of both government operations and community greenhouse gas emissions inventories and climate action plans.
  • Outreach and Education Committee: This committee is responsible for reviewing Priority Actions related to climate change education, as well as employing various forms of social media to enhance awareness on this subject.  

Co-Chairs

The CSC program is designed to encourage both climate smart actions on behalf of the municipal governments and the community at large. Given this dichotomy, we have named co-chairs to lead the Task Force; one representative from Dutchess County Planning and Development and a second from Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County.

Meetings

Hybrid meetings of the Climate Smart Communities Task Force are currently being held at the offices of the Department of Planning and Development and on Microsoft Teams. Links for the Teams option can be found in the posted meeting agendas below.

     Next Meeting Date & Agenda: Monday, January 29, 2024 at 5:30 pm
                                    

Agendas & Meeting Notes:

     2024 Meeting Notes: January 29th (.pdf)

     2024 Agendas: January 29th (.pdf)

     2023 Meeting Notes:  April 4th (.pdf)  |  June 27th (.pdf)  |  October 23rd (.pdf)

     2023 Agendas:  April 4th (.pdf)  |  June 27th (.pdf)  |  October 23rd (.pdf)

     2022 Meeting Notes:  January 27th (.pdf)  |  May 5th (.pdf)   |  September 14th (.pdf)

     2022 Agendas:  January 27th (.pdf)  |  May 5th (.pdf)   |  September 14th (.pdf)

     2020 Meeting Notes:   January 29th (.pdf)  |  November 16th (.pdf) 

     2020 Agendas:  January 29th (.pdf)  |  November 16th (.pdf)