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Town wins recognition as a Climate Smart Community

Climate Smart Communities Bronze certification logo

The Town of Pittsford has won designation as a Climate Smart Community, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.  Through this designation the State recognizes the Town’s extensive commitment to sustainable practices and care for the environment.

“Our Town has a long history of policies and actions for environmental progress," said Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith. "In 2017 we earned State recognition as a Clean Energy Community.  Today’s accomplishment follows on that success.  The improvements we’ve made to become a Climate Smart Community are built on a long legacy of environmentally sustainable practices and policies.”  Smith continued, “For example, we’ve replaced 95% of the Town’s streetlights with LED fixtures, installed solar panels at King’s Bend Park, built Electric Vehicle charging stations at our Spiegel Community Center and Library and started a successful composting program at our Senior Center.  Together with our many other efforts, these measures contribute to a healthier environment for us all.  Climate Smart status is not an end; it is rather a milepost on the road to improved environmental health that Pittsford has traveled for years.”

Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a New York State program that encourages local governments to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate.  CSC certified communities are acknowledged as the foremost leaders in the state, having completed and documented a range of actions intended to mitigate climate change at the local level.  

Town of Pittsford Climate Smart Communities Designation Actions

Key Sustainability Actions

  • LED Streetlights – the Town has replaced over 95% of Town-owned or operated streetlights with energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED fixtures (106 out of 111 streetlights).  
  • Solar Energy Panels – the Town installed a total of 43 solar modules atop two buildings located at King's Bend Park, 170 W Jefferson Rd, for a peak wattage of 15.48kW – essentially powering the electricity needs of the two lodges at the park.
  • Composting program – the Town implemented a composting program for senior lunches at the Spiegel Community Center. Food scraps are collected during the lunches, picked up by service provider Impact Earth, and the compost is returned to the Town for use in the Community Garden at Thornell Farm Park. 
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations – the Town owns and operates two EV charging stations: one at the Town Library and one at the Spiegel Community Center. Both EV chargers are classified as Level-2 stations (faster charging time and averaging 25 miles of driving per hour charged) and each have two charging ports per site. Both sites are easily accessible and available for public use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Town currently is working to secure funding for a third EV charging station. 

Additional Sustainability Actions by the Town:

  • Provides a weekly yard debris collection service and seasonal leaf collection service in which materials are recycled into mulch for use by the Town and Town residents
  • Included sustainability elements in the Town's most recent Comprehensive Plan update, incorporating green economic development, decreasing fossil fuel dependence, and promoting adaptation to the changing climate. 
  • The Town Zoning Code includes smart growth policies that require mixed land use, cluster development and diversity of housing.
  • Town policies support the local food system by including Zoning Code allowances for produce sales (farm stands) in residential areas, and by promoting and allowing for farmers markets. 
  • Planning and support for biking and walking via the joint Town and Village Active Transportation Plan, including new sidewalk installations, additional bike racks at Town Hall and the Library, and installing bike fix-it stations at the Library and the Community Center.
  • Implemented a unified solar permit process that allows building permits for residential solar panels 
  • Empowered the Town's Environmental Board to serve as a Climate Smart Communities Task Force
  • Entered contract with Administrator for a Community Choice Aggregation program to obtain 100% renewable electricity for Town residents at a cost below the RG&E rate.
  • Conducted an energy consumption inventory at Town Hall and at the Town's Highway Department facility.
  • Conducted a municipal building energy benchmarking report via the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to understand and establish a baseline for municipal greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.
  • Implemented Energy Code Enforcement training for Town Code Enforcement staff.

For additional information about the Town’s sustainability initiatives, see also the Town of Pittsford Sustainability Timeline.