Cuomo unveils $30M in sustainability grants

STARTUP-NY SLIDE SHOW — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo gives a slide show presentation at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Utica campus, 1101 Sherman Ave. Cuomo was at the college Thursday as part of a statewide effort to tout his Start-Up NY Proposal and economic development agenda. (Sentinel photo by Makenzi Enos)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

A first round of $30 million in statewide grants that will be distributed among several regional sustainability plans, including a Mohawk Valley plan, was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo under his Cleaner, Greener Communities program.

Cuomo separately spoke at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica Thursday to detail accomplishments from the state legislative session that he said will benefit upstate New York.

Public, private and non-profit entities are eligible to apply for the competitive Cleaner, Greener Communities grants, which will be reviewed by regional economic development councils across the state and by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The first-round funding "will put each region’s sustainability plans to action," Cuomo said in a statement. Regions statewide have developed plans to "create green jobs for New Yorkers while investing in projects that improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution."

Among Mohawk Valley sustainability plan details:

¿ Promote, incentivize and provide technical assistance for developing small-scale composting facilities for institutions and businesses. This would reduce 20 percent of the organic material from the region’s waste stream.

¿ Develop low-head and small hydropower facilities. This could save up to 50 percent of the energy used for water treatment.

¿ Conduct a building-stock inventory to identify priorities for redevelopment and reinvestment of housing stock and to promote home ownership. The region has a large stock of abandoned or under-used industrial and commercial buildings.

The Mohawk Valley regional plan encompasses Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Schoharie, Fulton, and Montgomery counties. It estimates that through full implementation of identified project categories, greenhouse gases emissions in the region by 2025 could be reduced by 40 percent below 1990 levels. The plan aims to "conserve energy and promote smart growth....," said Larry Gilroy, co-chair of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council.

For more information on the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, including instructions for submitting grant proposals, visit online.