LAKE GEORGE - The village government's "Go Green" committee held their first meeting last week, and Mayor Robert Blais challenged the group to work toward the municipality becoming a model for other small communities across the state.
The village's goal, he said, will be to save energy, protect the environment and become a climate-resilient community.
Blais thanked all the members for volunteering to serve and expressed appreciation to committee chairman David Harrington, the Village's Superintendent of Public Works, for his environmentally-sensitive efforts to date.
Trustee John Earl reviewed the work already accomplished by the Village, including the recent purchase of their first hybrid vehicle - another hybrid acquisition is planned for 2010. A total of 4,436 incandescent bulbs have been replaced with LEDs in the holiday lights resulting in a utility savings of 80 percent, Blais noted.
The village has requested National Grid to begin replacing 128 mercury vapor lamps in the Village with high-pressure sodium lamps. The lamps will be replaced periodically, resulting in a 40 percent savings, Earl said. The new lamps will also direct their lighting downward, reducing light pollution in the night sky and increasing illumination to the ground.
All fixtures in the Village Hall will be replaced, following an energy audit, resulting in further savings, Earl said. The Village has been recycling of ink cartridges, copy paper, newspaper, cans and bottles to date, he said. A new hot water tank has been installed at the Village's Visitor Center with a timer mechanism designed to result in savings of over $500 per month during the summer season.
Lake George Village has also switched to "Magic Salt" for use on their roadways. The product is designed to last longer, is more environmentally friendly to both the lake and land-based vegetation, and should result in a savings of at least 25 percent in cost.
The "Go Green" committee will initially meet monthly and the group is now seeking to have the Lake George High School Environmental Club attend the meetings and help plan projects and policies.
The committee, presumably with the help of the students, Blais said, will also perform facilities and functions inspections on a seasonal basis in an effort to initiate further energy-savings programs.
Members of the Committee include Patricia Dow, Debra McKinney, Judy Gearwar and former Village Board Member Marisa Muratori.