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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.

  • Brad Barclay, Dutchess County Planning and Development
  • Gary Bassett, Village of Rhinebeck
  • Joseph Cavacinni, Dutchess County Legislature
  • Mary Ann Cunningham, Vassar College
  • Melissa Everett, Sustainable Hudson Valley
  • James Fredrickson, Dutchess County Environmental Management Council
  • Audrey Friedrichsen, Scenic Hudson
  • Carolyn Klocker, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
  • Christopher Kroner, MASS Design Group // Hudson Valley Design Lab
  • Michael Lauchaire, Central Hudson Gas & Electric
  • Europa McGovern, City of Poughkeepsie resident 
  • Allan Page, A. Page & Associates LLC
  • Natalie Quinn, City of Poughkeepsie
  • Brian Scoralick, DC Soil & Water Conservation District

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 bbarclay@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.  

Coordinators

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-coordinators to lead this effort: James Fredrickson (Chair of the DC EMC) and Brad Barclay (DC Planning Senior Planner). 

Meetings

Meetings of the Climate Smart Communities Task Force are currently being held on Zoom. 

     Next Meeting Date: TBD (virtual meeting -- access information listed on the agendas below)

Agendas & Minutes:

     2022 Minutes:  January 27th (.pdf)  |  May 5th (.pdf) (draft)

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

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

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