County Planning Department Uses $15,000 Grant To Go Green
Published: August 31st, 2023
By: Shawn Magrath

County planning department uses $15,000 grant to go green

CHENANGO COUNTY – Citing a statewide push to go green, the Chenango County Department of Planning has assigned a $15,000 state grant to purchase electric landscape and maintenance equipment for use at county-owned facilities.

Grant funds come by way of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), issued as a result of the county’s successful campaign to install clean heating and cooling systems in residences throughout the county.

“Since enough people signed up for and installed clean heating and cooling equipment, it made us eligible for that grant,” explained Shane Butler, director of the Chenango County Department of Planning and Development. “We have earmarked that grant from NYSERDA to do something with clean energy upgrades.”

Story Continues Below Adverts

Money in hand, Butler said the department initially considered a number of construction projects to utilize the grant funds, including the reconstruction of a bathhouse at the county-owned Cook Park in Greene and renovations to the backside of the county courthouse.

But construction projects were shot down by NYSERDA because they didn’t fit the scope of grant mandates, said Butler; so officials turned to other avenues that would provide a cost savings to taxpayers.

“One of the projects that is NYSERDA approved is the purchase of new lawn and landscaping equipment,” said Butler. “Electrification is the big thing in New York State right now. If we have $15,000 available to us that’s no local share, we might as well use it to purchase equipment to replace things we have that are near the end of their life. That would be a cost savings on money, gas, oil and maintenance.”

  Butler’s department sought permission from the county’s planning and economic development committee last week to use the NYSERDA grant for the purchase of several pieces of electric equipment, counting two zero turn mowers, two leaf blowers, two hedge trimmers, two weedeaters, and a push mower.

The hope, said Butler, is to put equipment to use across all county-owned facilities, including the office building and department of social services in Norwich, the county airport, Cook Park, and Preston Manor in Oxford.