State grants will help city, county implement climate-change programs

State grants will help city, county implement climate-change programs

Just over $1.5 million in state funding will enable the city of Rochester and Monroe County to move forward on projects aimed at climate change adaption and greenhouse gas mitigation.

The money is part of $11.6 million in matching-grant awards to municipalities across New York from the State Department of Environmental Conservation Climate Smart Communities Grant program.

The state program is meant to help communities adapt to ongoing impacts of climate change, including relocating or retrofitting critical infrastructure, reducing flood risk and increasing community resilience to extreme weather.

The program also supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires New York to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

Two grants were awarded to the city of Rochester:

» $1 million for the Bus Stop Improvement Project. Many of the city’s most-used bus stops lack amenities and/or Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility. Upgrades will be made on 125 bus stops, including shelters, benches, bus cubes, lighting, signage, curb bump-outs and/or additional ADA-compliant components. 

» $52,500 for the Climate Action Plans and Municipal Fleet Management. The city will update its community-wide and government climate action plans, complete a municipal fleet inventory and develop a fleet efficiency policy. That includes greenhouse gas reduction targets as well as a fuel-efficiency standard for the city fleet.

Three grants were awarded to Monroe County:

» $150,000 for the Climate Vulnerability Assessment. The assessment will identify, analyze and prioritize the effects of climate hazards on specific population segments, assets and the community as a whole in order to develop a climate adaptation plan.

» $200,000 for a Climate Adaptation Plan. The plan will be developed following the vulnerability assessment.

» $100,000 for the Organics Management Plan. A consultant will prepare an organics management plan as part of the local solid waste management plan. The current solid waste management plan expires in 2025, and the current version was written before the New York State Food Scraps Recycling Law went into effect.

“The significant funding under New York’s Climate Smart Communities Program is critical in supporting local efforts to protect residents and infrastructure from the effects of climate change,” Governor Hochul said in a news release. 

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