County Announces Formation of Climate 
Smart Communities Task Force

Group of diverse stakeholders to hold inaugural meeting Dec. 20

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro and Legislative Chairman A. Gregg Pulver announce the formation of the Dutchess County Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Task Force and invite the public to attend its first official meeting on December 20, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development’s new location, 85 Civic Center Plaza in the City of Poughkeepsie. The agenda for the December 20 meeting is available online.

In line with its ongoing efforts to protect the environment, Dutchess County is pursuing certification as part of the CSC program, a statewide network of communities with common environmental goals, including increased energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to their beneficial impacts on the environment, such actions can also reduce overall energy use and its associated cost. The CSC program also offers solutions to local governments looking to reduce and adapt to climate change, and can be a source of matching grant funds for projects that work to those ends.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Dutchess County remains steadfast in our dedication to reduce our carbon footprint and improve the environment we all share. This first step toward being certified a Climate Smart Community further solidifies our commitment to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, increase our use of renewable energy, and improve our energy efficiency. I thank the members of the Climate Smart Communities Task Force for undertaking this important mission, and I look forward to their work, which will benefit Dutchess County and our environment.”

This fall, County Executive Molinaro and Chairman Pulver appointed 16 community members to serve on the Dutchess County Climate Smart Communities Task Force. The members include community leaders, as well as individuals working in innovative fields leading current efforts to undertake Climate Smart actions. These individuals represent a diverse and talented collection of people committed to reducing the County’s overall energy usage, greening its supply and making it more resilient to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

The members of the Dutchess County CSC are:

Bridgette Anderson, Associate Dean of Administration for Campus Facilities Management, Dutchess Community College

  • Brad Barclay, Senior Planner, Department of Dutchess County Planning and Development
  • Gary Basset, Mayor, Village of Rhinebeck
  • Dale Borchert, Environment Committee Chair, Dutchess County Legislature
  • Audrey Friedrichsen, Land Use and Environmental Advocacy Attorney, Scenic Hudson
  • Melisa Everett, Executive Director, Sustainable Hudson Valley
  • Mark Figliozzi, Supervisor, Town of Pleasant Valley
  • Jeff Irish, President, Sun Common
  • Vicky Kelly, Environmental Monitoring Program Manager, Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Carolyn Klocker, Interim Environment and Energy Program Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
  • Christopher Kroner, Principal, MASS Design Group / Hudson Valley Design Lab
  • Jacob Lawrence, Science Teacher, Arlington High School
  • Steve MacAvery, Chair, Dutchess County Environmental Management Council
  • Europa McGovern, Planner and Clean Energy Communities Coordinator, Hudson Valley Regional Council
  • Allan Page, Principal, A. Page & Associates LLC
  • Brian Scoralick, Executive Director, Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District

Chairman Pulver, “The knowledge and dedication of the individuals on this Task Force and the resources of the organizations they represent are key to the success of this undertaking. We can learn a great deal from each other, and this endeavor is also a fantastic opportunity to show local communities all that’s already being done at the county and local levels to address these important issues.”

The CSC Task Force will lead the efforts to have Dutchess County certified as a bronze-level Climate Smart Community within 12 to 18 months. In addition to holding open, quarterly meetings, the CSC Task Force will gather necessary information; conduct required studies and submit proper documentation to the New York State CSC program; report the results of the CSC program and submit recommendations to County Executive Molinaro and the County Legislature for official adoption; review grant opportunities to fund necessary studies, inform local governments and advance the County’s certification process.