Hometown Happenings: Clarkstown LED-ing the Way

 

BY GEORGE HOEHMANN
Supervisor, Town of Clarkstown

Preserving our community’s natural resources for the next generation has been a priority throughout my years of public service. As councilman, I proposed the current solar field that sits atop our capped landfill. This award-winning project was a first in New York State and estimated to save taxpayers $4,000,000. When I became Supervisor, one of the first decisions I made was to help the Trust for Public Land purchase 30 acres of the Marydell Faith and Life Center. Clarkstown’s commitment cemented the deal and allowed for those 30 acres to be pristinely preserved for future generations to enjoy Hook Mountain’s natural surroundings. What’s more, those 30 acres are now back on the tax rolls allowing for future property tax decreases.

The value of our natural resources is priceless. But it also makes economic sense to fight to preserve it. That’s why I’m proud that Clarkstown will be taking the next step and, once again, lead our county as we convert our town-owned streetlights to light emitting diodes, or LEDs

This week, the town will begin converting the current traditional fixtures with far more energy efficient LED bulbs, which emit light from all directions, use at least 75 percent less energy, and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Aside from their efficiency, the new LED fixtures will provide residents with better quality lighting throughout the town, leading to safer roads for both drivers and pedestrians.

The environmental benefits are a no brainer. By the end of the conversion, Clarkstown will reduce its carbon emissions by 979 metric tons per year. That’s the equivalent of taking 207 cars off the road every year.

The economic savings are even better. This project will save us nearly $1,000,000 per year–a huge win for the taxpayer. And because this project is financed by the New York Power Authority, it will not add to Clarkstown’s shrinking debt.

I couldn’t be more excited about this initiative both for our taxpayers and for future generations. We have done a lot to reduce costs, streamline our budget, cut waste and protect our environment. Converting to LEDs means cleaner energy and less tax dollars. And that’s a bright idea.