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Lake Placid village revives Climate Smart initiative

LAKE PLACID — The village of Lake Placid is reviving its Climate Smart Community program with the goal of getting a bronze certification, like the neighboring community of Saranac Lake did last year.

The village established a CSC task force in 2018, but village Trustee Jason Leon said on Monday that both the village and the town were working on creating a combined task force.

“The ultimate goal is that both the village and the town can be certified bronze by the year’s end,” he said. “It’s an ambitious one, but we’re just getting the group together.”

Climate Smart Communities is a state Department of Environmental Conservation program that helps local governments take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Participating municipalities are given a certain number of points for each action they take, and a cumulative 120 points are needed for a bronze certification.

The last time the village’s points were calculated, before the coronavirus pandemic, the village had 60 points, according to Leon. The village has taken some steps since then, he said — citing the purchase of hybrid vehicles, installation of electric vehicle chargers and new energy-efficient lightbulbs.

“What we’ve already done could bump us up to 80 or 90 points,” Leon said. “Let’s see what we can do for the least amount of money. Let’s see what we can do for free. It’s not going to cost the village or the town a dime and we’ll have the certification.”

Leon said the task force would likely work on an inventory of the village and town’s greenhouse gas emissions first.

By getting certified, municipalities can get better scores on applications for some state grants, get state-level recognition for its efforts and gain access to training and other resources, according to the DEC’s website.

The village of Saranac Lake achieved a bronze certification last year after two years of work by its Climate Smart Community Task Force and local high school students.

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