JOHNSTOWN - Two staff members of the Fulton County Planning Department are participating in a state consortium working group looking at environmental and economic issues for the region.
The effort, called the Cleaner Greener Community Program, is overseen by the state Energy Resource and Development Authority.
County Senior Planner Sean Geraghty told the county Planning Board last week at the Fort Johnstown Annex that he and county Planner Scott Henze are participating in the program.
Geraghty said the Cleaner Greener Community Program supports creation and implementation of regional sustainability plans. He said that during the first phase of this program, Otsego County applied for funding on behalf of the Mohawk Valley Region and was awarded $1 million to develop a NYSERDA-sponsored plan.
The Mohawk Valley Region is one of 10 designated in New York state as part of a new economic development model.
Geraghty said about $90 million in state will be available for Cleaner Greener efforts in the 10 regions the next three years.
"It's going to be a very competitive program," he said.
NYSERDA is requiring the Mohawk Valley Regional Sustainability Plan be completed by March 13, although it may be done earlier.
"It is my understanding that draft plan will be out in the next month or so," Geraghty said.
Otsego County hired consultants Ecology and Environment Inc. of Lancaster, Erie County, to work with a regional consortium to prepare a plan for the six-county Mohawk Valley Region. As part of the planning process, nine technical groups were formed to gather data on areas that included: economic development, transportation, land use and livable communities, water management, materials management, energy, agriculture and forestry, government and climate adaption.
Each of the working groups - of which Geraghty and Henze are members - have seven to 15 people and are made up of representatives from entities that include municipal agencies, non-profit organizations, business associations and colleges and universities.
Geraghty said he and Henze attended a Dec. 5 public outreach meeting conducted by the Mohawk Valley Cleaner Greener Communities Consortium at Herkimer County Community College. He said about 75 people were in attendance.
"It seemed to be well-received," Geraghty said.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.