Spring/Summer 2018

The newsletter of the Hudson Valley Regional Council

HVRC is a regional planning organization providing outreach, education, and advocacy to the seven Mid-Hudson counties: Ulster, Putnam, Westchester, Orange, Rockland, Dutchess, & Sullivan.

Summer is practically here in the Hudson Valley, providing HVRC many more opportunities to assist and partner with local governments and other organizations in our seven-county region. We look forward to continuing to offer a regional perspective and providing education, outreach, and advocacy services to the communities we serve.

HVRC continues to provide technical support and educational resources to Hudson Valley Communities. Our annual updates of the
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy  (CEDS) detail the economic health of Hudson Valley communities. Between now and June 2019 we are working on the five-year CEDs update. The Hudson Valley Region Distress Criteria Statistical Report provides a snapshot of the economic distress of various municipalities, based on 2015 data. Additionally, we continue to provide technical assistance to municipalities and businesses interested in pursuing EDA funding; we continue to offer water quality and stormwater management educational resources, funded by NYSDEC; and we continue to support municipalities and counties as they pursue cost-saving and energy and GHG emission-reducing actions through NYSERDA's Clean Energy Communities Program.

*Check out the list of FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES at the bottom of this newsletter!

We compiled these for you as part of our continuing efforts to connect communities in the Mid-Hudson region with the many resources that are available to them.*

Photo credit Instagram @vsunlight7
Tourism represents an important sector for economic development across the Mid-Hudson Region. HVRC's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) outlines regional conditions, trends, and goals to promote sustainable economic development throughout our seven counties.
Communities throughout our region continue to be actively engaged in NYSERDA's Clean Energy Communities Program. HVRC's coordinators are working closely with many local governments, engaged Conservation Advisory Councils (or similar advisory bodies), and many other important partners on the ten High Impact Actions under this program. These actions benefit communities and their residents and result in cost and energy savings for communities that pursue them. Other funding opportunities and resources are available to support these actions, with technical assistance available from our coordinators. 

Local goverments that complete four actions become 'designated' Clean Energy Communities by New York State. Block 3 grants are now available on a first-come first-served basis to newly-designated communities. There are currently up to 13 Block 3 awards, at $5,000 each, available in our region with a very simple grant application process. Communities that have already received Block 1 or Block 2 funding are ineligible.

Our region is a leader state-wide. Please contact HVRC to connect with your local Clean Energy Communties Coordinator and to get technical assistance and support from us today!

Community Corner
Orange County completed four High Impact Actions under the CEC Program and is now a designated Clean Energy Community!

Additionally, the County is receiving a Gold designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar.

This designation recognizes Orange County for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Gold designation is a signal that Orange County is “open for solar business.”
SolSmart is led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association
(ICMA), and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. More than 180 cities, counties, and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.
The City of Poughkeepsie recently passed Community Choice Aggregation-enabling legislation and has joined the many communities state-wide that are seeking to benefit their residents by participating in this municipal energy procurement model. They recently issued an RFP to select a CCA administrator.

“By enacting this enabling legislation...we’re allowing our residents to exercise more local control over their energy resources" said Councilperson Sarah Salem.

Designated Clean Energy Communities
  • City of Beacon
  • City of Kingston
  • City of New Rochelle
  • City of Peekskill
  • City of White Plains
  • City of Yonkers
  • Orange County
  • Sullivan County
  • Town of Bedford
  • Town of Bethel
  • Town of Mamaroneck
  • Town of Marbletown
  • Town of New Castle
  • Town of New Paltz
  • Town of Ossining
  • Town of Red Hook
  • Town of Rosendale
  • Town of Somers
  • Town of Warwick
  • Ulster County
  • Village of Croton-on-Hudson
  • Village of Dobbs Ferry
  • Village of Goshen
  • Village of Hastings-on-Hudson
  • Village of Mount Kisco
  • Village of New Paltz
  • Village of Port Chester
  • Village of Wappingers Falls

LED Streetlights

Many communities are converting their streetlights to LEDs and capturing significant cost and energy savings by doing so!

HVRC can provide significant assistance to your community, including provision of a cost analysis. This analysis outlines side-by-side the potential savings for LED conversion in both utility and municipally-owned conversion pathways, based on your communities' current street lighting bills.

Cimate Smart Communities Program

NYSDEC has launched the new CSC Certification Portal! The portal streamlines the application process for local governments seeking to become Certified Climate Smart Communities. Communities can readily explore the various actions and resources and available for each as well as view what other communities have submitted.

Many communities are passing the Climate Smart Communities Pledge and are working with HVRC on climate action planning. Dutchess County communities have taken the lead, with 6 communities (including Dutchess County itself) becoming Participating Climate Smart Communities in the last few weeks!
The 2018 CSC grants have been announced! The CSC grant program provide 50/50 matching grants to cities, towns, villages, and counties of the State of New York for eligible climate adaptation and mitigation projects. More information on this funding opportunity is available under "Funding Opportunities" headline below.
Poto credit: Instagram @vsunlight7
May 15 Storm and Tornado

This storm was devastating to many municipalities in our region. The City of Newburgh, where HVRC's office is located, declared a State of Emergency until noon on Friday, May 18. Damage was severe and many residents of Newburgh, Beacon, Fishkill, and other communities were without power for days. In fact HVRC had to cancel the Resiliency Training for government officials scheduled for May 24 due to storm-related consequences. It will be rescheduled for a later date.

Water Policy and Laws in New York: Tools & Perspectives for Stream Protection

HVRC's new resources on water policy are now posted on our website!:
Through a grant provided by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Hudson River Estuary Program, the Hudson Valley Regional Council partnered with PACE Land Use Law Center, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, the Lower Hudson Coalition of Conservation Districts, and Simon Gruber (independent consultant) to produce educational resources designed to assist local planners, planning boards, conservation advisory councils, watershed groups, and any other stakeholders with Water Policy development. The resources provide a basic understanding of the regulatory and non-regulatory options available to protect drinking water sources and watersheds.

This project was designed with the intent of addressing questions raised by stakeholders in the Sparkill, Rondout and Sawkill Creek watersheds, but are applicable to all watersheds. 

"LED Street Lights and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Best Practices and Zoning Considerations for Implementation"

Our Clean Energy Communities team, Carla Castillo, Europa McGovern and Niklas Moran, partnered with the Orange County Municipal Planning Federation to facilitate the "LED Street Lights and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Best Practices and Zoning Considerations for Implementation" course.

Europa and Carla gave presentations on current best practices for siting and installation of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), as well as converting cobra head street lights to LEDs. Lighting design considerations were covered as well (in order to minimize overlighting suburban and rural municipalities) and Niklas discussed  the technical support available through HVRC  for implementation of these energy efficiency and clean energy options through NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program.

CFA: 2018 NYS Consolidated Funding Application

NYSDEC Funding Opportunities
  •  Hudson River Estuary Program: Local Stewardship Planning Grants
    • Application due date: 3:00 P.M. EST, July 11, 2018
    • $10,500 to $50,000, 15% local match required
    • Eligible projects include:
      • Adapting land uses and decision-making to factor in climate change, flooding, heat, drought, and sea-level rise projections in Hudson River shoreline communities
      • Making water infrastructure more resilient to flooding and/or sea-level rise
      • Using green infrastructure practices as a means to reduce combined sewer overflows
      • Watershed and source water management planning
      • Creating a natural resources inventory, open space inventory/index, open space plan, or open space funding feasibility study
  • Climate Smart Communities grant program
    • Applications are due by 4 PM Friday, July 27, 2018
    • The Climate Smart Communities grant program provides 50/50 matching grants to counties (and NYC boroughs), cities, towns and villages of the State of New York for eligible climate adaptation and mitigation projects
    • 2018 CSC Request for Applications
    • Funds are available for two broad categories:
      • The first category supports implementation projects related to climate change adaptation and the reduction of greenhouse gases outside the power sector
      • The second category supports planning projects related to Climate Smart Communities certification actions, especially in the areas of climate change adaptation, land use, and municipal fleet management

NYSERDA Funding Opportunities
  • Ground Source Heat Pump Rebate
    • Applications due by June 30th, 2019
    • This rebate is for designers and installers of GSHP systems. Site owners interested in this initiative should find a NYSERDA-approved designer or installer to evaluate a project at your home or business.
      • Single family home can receive up to $15,000
      • A building can receive up to $500,000
      • A site with multiple buildings can receive up to $1 million
  • Flex Tech Program: Open enrollment.
    • Provides 50% of the cost to produce an objective, site-specific, and targeted study on how best to implement clean energy and/or energy efficiency technologies. A NYSERDA FlexTech Consultant will work with you to complete the energy study

Other Funding Opportunities

Electric Vehicles:  It is a great time to buy an electric vehicle or get a charging station in your community!  Available incentives include:
  • NYSDEC Zero Emission Vehicle Rebates
    • Round two closed on May 31, 2018 but DEC anticipates opening a third round of ZEV rebates later this year.
      • $5,000 rebate per vehicle
      • Up to $8,000 rebate per port for EV charging stations
  • **NYS Aggregate Bid for EVs
    • NYSDEC and OGS have released details on their upcoming aggregate bid for plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. All authorized users of the New York State Vehicle Marketplace (e.g., municipalities and state agencies) can participate.
      • If you have any questions or would like to participate in the aggregate bid, please contact Pamela Hadad-Hurst at DEC (
      • Bid forms are due by COB Monday, July 16, 2018
  • NYSERDA's Drive Clean Rebate
    • Point-of-sale rebate
    • Up to $2,000 rebate for new electric vehicle purchases or leases
    • Available to all NYS residents, including local governments
  • Federal Tax Credit
    • All-electric and hybrid cars purchased in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500
NYSDOT Transportation Alternatives Program
  • Up to $100 million in funding is available to support bicycle, pedestrian, multi-use path and transportation-related projects and programs that help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act
    • TAP funds a variety of transportation related projects which increase options for non-vehicular transportation
    • CMAQ funds transportation projects which reduce vehicle emissions and/or traffic congestion in designated areas that do not meet, or previously did not attain National Ambient Air Quality Standards
Photo credit Instagram @vsunlight7

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Contact us:

Hudson Valley Regional Council
3 Washington Center #2
Newburgh, NY 12550
 (845) 564-4075

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Hudson Vallley Regional Council · 3 Washington Center #2 · Newburgh, Ny 12550 · USA

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