Montgomery pushes for certification
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
In a presentation on Feb. 21, Nancy Montgomery, who represents Philipstown on the Putnam County Legislature, urged her colleagues to have the county join the state’s Climate Smart Communities initiative.
Participating municipalities agree to take steps to reduce carbon emissions, decrease pollution and fight global warming. In return, they can receive consideration for state aid. Philipstown began working toward Climate Smart certification in 2017; Beacon and Nelsonville are likewise involved.
The sole Democrat on the nine-person Legislature, Montgomery was elected in November, after supporting Climate Smart efforts as a town councilor in Philipstown. She said that as she familiarized herself with county government, she realized that “we’re well on our way to accomplishing” basic Climate Smart goals already. As examples, she cited installation of energy-efficient lighting, environmentally friendlier road management and county car fleet practices, and improvements at the jail.
Speaking during a meeting of the Economic Development Committee, Montgomery pointed out that participating municipalities have received grants for stormwater management and minimizing flood threats. Putnam, too, might pursue Climate Smart certification and get help for “projects that the county needs to do anyway,” she said. “It would just be a win-win.”
Other legislators expressed openness to the idea but called for further review. But Legislator Ginny Nacerino, who said she had unsuccessfully proposed Putnam join the initiative four years ago, offered her endorsement. “It would behoove us to move forward with this,” she said.