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Going Greener

Municipality: South Floral Park
County: Nassau County
Population: Less than 5,000
Type: Village

2017 Local Government Achievement Award

Village Hall: (516) 352-8047

The village initiated a Going Greener program in 2016 in an effort to reduce negative effects on the environment of daily Village Hall activities while reducing costs. The village started with the introduction of a recycling program.

Village Hall now diligently recycles all paper and plastic/aluminum waste. The village also recycles all toner and ink cartridges. In addition, thermostat controllers were placed on heating units and a schedule to turn off heating and cooling units was created. The temperature on the boiler and hot water heaters were adjusted to reduce hot water waste and electricity, and radiators were turned off in office areas of little to no use.

The village also started changing out all light bulbs to LEDs. We are in the process of retrofitting all the interior lighting to LED fixtures, and all streetlights have started to be converted to LEDs as well. The village approved the installation of solar panels on its municipal/fire house building and the village building department has worked diligently to streamline the process for homeowners to apply for solar panel permits.

Many building department forms have been converted to digital versions to minimize paper and printing waste. Village Hall toilets have been converted to water-efficient ones and the annual Christmas tree lighting was done with LED string lights this past year. The village highway department will be acquiring a new truck this year to replace a large dump truck for a smaller (hybrid, if possible) pick-up truck.

The building department changes allows for homeowners to easily apply for their home improvement or energy efficiency projects, which also brings up property values. Also, the time for applying for permits and getting approvals has been significantly reduced. Applications can be downloaded, payments can be made online and documents can be submitted via email. Document search for general inquiries or FOIL requests can be done in an instant.

Waste recycling costs were approximately $20 for bins. The interior LED lighting will cost approximately $16,800, which will be offset by a $5,500 PSEG rebate. LED street light conversions cost $375 per street light but will also be offset by PSEG rebate pending amount. Digitizing files and forms cost approximately $3,000, which was offset by a State grant. The new truck is $40,000 but will be purchased with CHIPS funding. Solar panels were $70,000, offset by a $50,000 DASNY grant. A total of $104,000 of $158,000 is the estimated cost to be covered by grant or rebate funding and every project has resulted in instant savings.