The final meeting of the Solarize Williamson campaign was held at the Wayne Technical Career and Training Center (BOCES) on November 4th. Of the 149 individuals who indicated interest in the program, ten so far have actually signed contracts for home installations. My understanding is that is fairly good participation for this type of a program.
Attendees made suggestions at the meeting to improve future solar energy grants including having some specific examples of costs right at the beginning of the process such as at the initial meeting.
The Town Board is pursuing a supplemental grant to facilitate residents getting solar energy. This is a different program entitled Community Distributive Generation in which groups of residents can own a solar panel array at a single location.
On November 17th Supervisor- Elect Tony Verno and I accepted a 2015 DEC Environmental Excellence Award at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany. Of 23 applicants, seven (7) were selected for this award of which our town was one of them.
The Environmental Excellence Award recognizes organizations for undertaking projects that demonstrate measurable environmental economic and social benefits that go beyond standard regulatory requirements.
Williamson began its journey on energy conservation and sustainability in 2010 with an energy study of town buildings, lightings and vehicles. Projects eventually adopted include a solar panel array, green roof, energy efficient lighting, and a high efficiency boiler at the Waste Water Treatment Plan; a vehicle retrofit project on a utility truck in which a battery is used instead of idling; a solar panel array at the Town Complex, an adopted Complete Streets policy, obtaining a Climate Smart Community designation and ultimately WilliamSUN Solar Field.
Also contributing to the town’s involvement in renewable energy and the award is an active Williamson Energy Conservation & Sustainability Committee consisting of Bill Bishop (resident-engineer), Bob Bechtold (Harbec Plastics), Chip Bailey (fruit grower), Craig Logan (Principal WCTC), Jim Verbridge (KM Davies) , John Manahan (Chief Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator, Mike Allen (resident) , Peg Churchill (Executive Director Wayne County IDA) Steve Smalley (resident) and most recently Anthony Smith (student). I have chaired this committee since it began in 2011.
Mike and Dorothy Orr are the winners of the 2015 Diann Roffe Citizenship award. Both are well known in our community and well deserving of this recognition.