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Nisky takes green pledge

Solar panels planned around town

— Niskayuna will focus on becoming a greener community as plans to install solar panels townwide start to take shape.

At a Tuesday, July 26, Town Board meeting, a resolution adopting the Climate Smart Communities Pledge was unanimously approved. The pledge states the local government believes climate change is a real and increasing threat to the environment. The focus of the pledge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stabilize the climate. Following the green pledge was a resolution to authorize Supervisor Joe Landry to enter into an agreement with Monolith Solar Associates, LLC, for installation of solar panels throughout the town at no cost to taxpayers.

Mary Werner, chair of the Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council, said at the meeting that similar pledges have been adopted by almost 100 communities across the state. The Schenectady County Legislature adopted the pledge in April 2009, and Werner said since then the county has taken major steps toward green initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. SCEAC’s report last year focused on climate change, which Werner said was evident.

“We did find significant evidence that [climate change] is in fact happening,” said Werner. “We look forward to having you as a partner in the Climate Smart Communities program.”

Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw sponsored the resolution to take the pledge, and she said she appreciated members of the public coming to show their support.

“To have the support of the community members who came out tonight to give up an evening to talk about it, it means the world to me,” said McGraw. “I know that this is a very important measure for our community and for our town. I am looking forward to working on this for a long time to come.”

Landry said the pledge is something the Department of Environmental Conservation is urging municipalities to adopt, and Werner has encouraged the town to sign on.

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