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Saratoga County forms green panel

Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Arthur Johnson, along with Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Troy, announced a new county committee on Friday, Jan. 30, that will explore ways to make the county operate with greater energy efficiency and environmental consciousness.

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aratoga Springs Supervisor Matthew Veitch will chair the Green Committee, which will likely meet in early March for the first time. The exploratory group of seven to 11 members will look to all corners for advice.

It's going to be more of a research committee than a legislative committee, said Veitch. "Our job is to find out what it will take to green up the county."

Among the many possibilities will be studying ways to increase energy efficiency in county buildings, investigating the purchase of hybrid vehicles and simply putting together tips for residents to help them cut energy costs.

To accomplish that sizable task, the committee will be looking for input from experienced parties. One of the committee's first moves will be to bring in NYSERDA to investigate environmental audits of county facilities, said Veitch.

"I think it will be a little bit different than the way we do meetings at the county [during the day]," said Veitch. "This committee might be a committee that meets later in the day to allow the public greater accessibility."

Those wishing to contribute ideas to the committee or otherwise willing to volunteer their services should contact Veitch through the county offices, www.saratogacountyny.gov.

The Green Committee will be vice-chaired by Mark Luciano, a longtime staff member of Roy McDonald, who spearheaded the creation of the group.

The first goal of the committee is to protect the county's environment, said McDonald staff member Michael Veitch. "The second part is saving money.

Some of these newer energies are able to reduce costs down the road, even if there's an upfront cost."

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