Clifton Park hopes alternative resources will reduce carbon footprint

Environmental issues continued to dominate the discussion at the Monday, Aug. 20, Clifton Park Town Board meeting.

Councilmen Tom Paolucci and Scott Hughes, the Republican incumbents running for town board this year, said that they had just held the first meeting of a town Alternative Energy Committee.

We had a great group of people made up of town staff and concerned residents and other citizens that really have the knowledge to make the contribution, Paolucci said. "We have the right people sitting around this table."

Participating in the first meeting were: Isabel Prescott, a resident who uses geothermal technology on her property; Bill Connor, the head architect for the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library and a graduate of Shenendehowa; Ron Slosburg with L and S Energy Services; Bill Butler from C.T. Male engineering; Jim Romano, who is retired from National Grid; and Alan Belenze, a scientist with the attorney general's office.

Hughes said the town planned to work with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to have town buildings analyzed for energy efficiency, in an attempt to reduce the town's carbon footprint.

"There are a host of grant programs available now through the state and other sources, and we're actively looking to participate," Hughes said. "We're trying to show leadership as a municipality."

Since the formation of the committee was announced weeks ago, local Democrats have charged that the motivation was political.

"Creating a committee and trying to do the things we have been asking for all along is great, but we wait to see action," said Youssef Ballout, vice chairman of the local Democratic Committee, "Real actions are impressive, committees are not impressive."

Democrat Margaret Catellier, who is running for town board, called the creation of the committee "lip service."

"We've been talking about this and coming to the town, a year and a half or two years ago we started this stuff," she said. "If it wasn't an election year they wouldn't do it."

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