Hometown Happenings With George Hoehmann, Supervisor, Town of Clarkstown

Earth Day Economics  

Each year on April 22, we join millions of people around the world to celebrate Earth Day.  Earth Day established 47 years ago in the U.S., reminds and encourages us all to be more environmentally friendly.  Whether we plant trees, sign petitions, or clean up our roads and waterways, we come together to do our part to protect our environment.

As a public servant, I have always valued the importance of protecting our environment and natural resources for both its intrinsic value and economic benefits.  After my successful efforts of adding solar panels to buildings in my work with not-for-profits, as a Councilman, I proposed a solar field on the Town’s capped landfill in West Nyack.  In 2014, that vision became a reality and Clarkstown opened the first large scale solar field on a capped landfill in the State of New York.

This 13-acre site now contains over 8,000 solar panels creating green energy, which will result in a long-term savings of over $4,000,000 to the taxpayers of Clarkstown.  In addition, this project was accomplished through a public/private partnership where the private developer covered all the installation and maintenance costs of the project. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is working on a white paper of Clarkstown’s solar field project for other municipalities to use as a model to construct solar fields across the state.

Last fall, Clarkstown became the first town in the region to purchase our street lights from Orange and Rockland Utilities.  We will start to convert these to LED’s this year saving over $900,000 annually.  We will do this in partnership with the NYPA and not add to our debt.

As our town continues to grow, we must ensure that our outdoor heritage is preserved for future generations. That’s why I am proud that one of my first decisions as Supervisor was to help preserve the Marydell property, which borders Hook Mountain, overlooking the Hudson River, in Upper Nyack. Once we committed to help preserve the property, it allowed the Trust for Public Land to finalize the deal.  The property will be put back on the tax rolls and provide a connection to the Long Path Hiking Trail, which runs from Fort Lee, NJ to Albany.  Upper Nyack’s views will be protected forever.

We’ve done a great deal in Clarkstown to preserve and protect our environment and we will continue those efforts.  I invite you to join us, not just on Earth Day, but every day, to take action and protect our environment.