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October 25, 2016
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Sullilvan legislature passes tax cap override; sustainable energy project in doubt

He further explained that grant money might be available through the new Regional Economic Development Councils scheme that Governor Andrew Cuomo has implemented, and that the only way to be able to have a reasonable chance of getting any of the money is for the county to commit to spending at least the $15,000 for the study.

While everyone agreed that the building could not continue to be used in its current state indefinitely, lawmakers balked at spending that sum, especially in light of the tight economic picture, and without knowing how much grant money might be available. Stuart estimated the proposed cost of the retrofit at $1 million.

Dick Riseling, executive director of SASD, reminded the lawmakers that the newly-installed solar array behind the building had just recently gone online, and had already saved the county $1,000. “These projects are starting to pay off,” he said.

But along another line of thought, county manager David Fanlsau said, “There are more employees working in that building than it was originally designed for [in 1969]; there are heating and air conditioning problems; there has been a request since before my time of adding an enlarged lobby to that building; there are grading issues to the parking lot. Are we going to be looking at the complex as a long-term plan?” He said if $15,000 is spent to study the “envelope” of the building, a study should be commissioned to examine the other issues.

While some of the lawmakers were clearly sympathetic to the idea of obtaining grant money for a deep energy retrofit, they took no action on the matter at the meeting, and it’s not clear if they will do so in the future.