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The Climate Action Plan for St. Lawrence County
The Climate Action Plan for St. Lawrence County

Climate Action Plan was too much to swallow

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The future of a plan to reduce St. Lawrence County's greenhouse gas emissions is still up in the air. County legislators voted this month to keep the Climate Action Plan on the table. Trevor Alford reports that legislators didn't agree on what to do with a cost-benefit analysis by local university students.
(CLARIFICATION: the Climate Action Plan contains no mandates for the county or its employees.)

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Students from St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, and SUNY Canton have been working on ideas that would save the county money and help it reduce emissions. The students’ recommendations included carpooling by county employees, using solar power to generate electricity, and making office buildings more energy efficient. Their analysis finds that that down the road this could mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings for the county.

On January tenth the student’s proposals were presented to the County Board of Legislators. But a vote which would have included their suggestions in the overall plan ended in a seven to seven tie — meaning it didn’t happen.

County administrator Sally Brothers wanted the measure to pass. But she says the 57-page plan was already too long and complex.

“Compared to the other pieces of legislation, or resolutions or plans we get that was pretty substantial and it asked for some pretty substantial changes,” she said.

Some legislators say they don’t want to force county employees and county departments to work a certain way.

For example, Legislator Mark Akins disliked the idea of forcing county employees to carpool.

“If two people are living side by side and work the same shift at St. Lawrence county I would hope that they would be able to carpool," Akins said. "But I’m not going to tell them that they have to carpool and they have to do certain requirements.”

The Board of Legislators will vote again on whether to take the Climate Action plan off of the table on February sixth.

One thing they would be considering is whether to approve the plan, with or without the students’ suggestions.

For North Country Public Radio, I’m Trevor Alford.

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