LANCASTER - A coalition of Western New York municipalities and organizations in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties has received funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to create a regional sustainability plan as part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Cleaner, Greener Communities Program.
A first round of public meetings was held in July 2012 to introduce the project and to seek public input on draft sustainability goals. The project team used the public's feedback to finalize the goals and to develop a draft Sustainability Plan. A second round of public meetings has been scheduled throughout the region in October to discuss the draft Western New York Sustainability Plan and to solicit feedback on implementation projects that will help to shape our region's economic and environmental future.
Locally, the meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Weeks Reception Hall at Jamestown Community College, 525 Falconer St.
The Cleaner, Greener Communities Program promotes smarter growth practices by funding sustainability planning at the regional level. Regional planning teams can partner with state and federal agencies, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, private businesses and residents to break down barriers and develop a sustainability plan that reflects their area's needs. This partnering helps to create more integrated, sustainable solutions and accelerate investment and actual development.
When completed, the Western New York Regional Sustainability Plan will:
Plan for energy production and conservation, transportation, waste and water management, land use and livable communities, agriculture and forestry, economic development, and open space;
Build upon Regional Economic Development planning efforts to integrate plans for economic prosperity with efforts to promote long-term sustainability;
Identify indicators to measure our progress, including greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, available natural resources and economic assets, liabilities, and opportunities; and
Describe projects that may apply for implementation funding from various funding sources including the NYSERDA Cleaner, Greener Communities program.
Please plan on attending a public meeting on the draft Sustainability Plan to share your ideas and feedback on implementation projects that can help meet the region's sustainability goals. You can also submit project ideas via the public website, www.sustainable-ny.com/form. The following meetings are scheduled:
The Western New York regional planning team is led by Allegany County, with support from Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board, Ecology and Environment, Inc., and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute. To learn more about the project or to submit input via email, please visit www.sustainable-ny.com. For questions about the project or the upcoming public meetings, please contact Elizabeth Santacrose at 684-8060.