Albany County executive pitches 'green' initiative

Time Warner Cable News | March 10, 2014 | Column by Geoff Redick

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Wanting to continue building upon last year's progress, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy delivered his 2014 State of the County address Monday night.

McCoy didn't make many promises in this year's address, saying that's because a lot of the wheels already started turning last year to save money and improve quality of life here in Albany County.

McCoy did propose one big new initiative, though, which ought to make it easier to be green.

"A key initiative of my administration is to make Albany County the greenest county in New York state," McCoy said.

And he's taking aim at his own offices now: McCoy proposed to set-up a new county agency dedicated to finding energy efficiencies and renewable energy possibilities like solar panels or small wind turbines county buildings.

"We should be doing this stuff, to one, bring down how much we're spending of taxpayers' money on electric, but two, if we're saving some and we've got enough, to give back to the people," he said.

McCoy's new agency would ideally sell extra power back to residents, if enough power exists. He says the budget impact would be minimal.

"There's so many people that just want to volunteer, that actually have a passion for this," McCoy said.

Elsewhere in Monday's address, not much in the way of new promises and programs. McCoy says that's because 2013 was a banner year that's still shaking out now.

"There's a lot of initiatives that I put in there, from the nursing home that we need to resolve, from these different initiatives from the state comptroller's recommendations, the recommendations I put in place, that will continue to keep us under the cap for the future," McCoy said.

We also asked McCoy about the recent spate of heroin-related arrests within the county.

While it didn't come up in his speech, he did acknowledge the recent string, and says he's contacting agencies outside Albany County to learn more about drug and addiction prevention.

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.