By Buffy Calvert

At the Town Council meeting on Tuesday, September 12th, the Board heard from Tara Donadio about grants available from NYSERDA to help towns reduce costs and energy use. Ms. Donadio works for the Cornell Cooperative Extension as Energy Educator and Clean Energy Community Coordinator.

She presented options open to Andes and offered to “help as much as you need.” Grants are for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can be completed in 3 years. NYSERDA favors collaborative, innovative, replicable projects that leverage public or private funds. Donadio gave the example of switching to LED lights in all or some of our municipal buildings. (The Andes Public Library has already done this!)

The Town Board showed such immediate interest and approval (“real doable” said one Board member) that they passed 2 resolutions on the spot. The first, called “benchmarking,” creates a report of all energy use by Andes municipal buildings to be available for supporting grant applications.

The second streamlines the permit process for the installation of solar panels on private dwellings so that they are no more cumbersome or expensive than any other building permit.

Rachel Andrews gave a final report on the closing of the Pool for the winter with a request for some repairs and renovations to the boys’ bathroom. The Board approved. One audience member cooed that the pool, which was open every day from July Fourth to Labor Day, inclusive, was “beautiful all summer!”

Tom Joyce reported for the Flood Commission that a final Public Hearing would be held on Friday, September 15th at 6 pm at the school. Shocked audience members reported that they had received no notice in the mail, and had seen neither flyers nor any news of the event in the Gazette, the Catskill Mountain News or the Reporter.  Joyce hoped notices “were in the mail” and promised to follow up.~