Community solar default sought
Village of New Paltz trustees are in support of a way to expand the adoption of community solar, by making it the default for any family eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
Under the state community solar scheme, a homeowner who doesn’t have solar panels on the property can sign up to get electricity through a local solar farm. In return, the customer gets ten percent off the cost of the electricity supply. However, the method of giving that credit is complicated, because it’s spread out across two different bills. For example, one might receive a Central Hudson bill for $200, half of which is the cost of the electricity and the other half is the cost of transmission. That bill would show the $100 supply charge and also a $100 credit. A second bill, in this example from “Ray’s Original New York Solar,” would charge the customer just $90 for that electricity.
During the meeting, Mayor Tim Rogers recalled that the idea of community solar seemed “scammy” because it’s complicated to sign up, as well. Rogers hopes that making it the default for at least some customers will lend legitimacy that overcomes those bureaucratic hurdles. After the meeting, Rogers also expressed hope that the double-billing system will be eliminated before making this program an opt-out one for anyone.
Master the waters
After tremendous success with them at SUNY New Paltz, Village of New Paltz officials want to see master water meters implemented on many more projects. A master water meter is one location where a meter reading is taken for a multi-use building or development. It’s located near the street, and any water that passes through it must be paid for by the account holder. When master water meters were installed on campus, it meant that all the water going onto the campus is paid for, even if it happens to leak out into the ground. With the individual meters, pipes running from building to building may have been losing water for which there was no payment being made. Mayor Tim Rogers imagines that this has created an incentive to address leaks on campus.
New proposed legislation would require master meters when a project is built or expanded, and it entails three or more users tapping into the same water access.
Safe for birds and bees
Village of New Paltz trustees are in support of a state law to curtail the use of neonicotinoids, the pesticides sometimes pronounced “neo-nics” by those who don’t like long words. This is a family of pesticides shown to cause considerable harm to pollinators, as well as birds, and are also often used on ornamental plants that are available for sale.
New garbage agreement signed
Village of new Paltz officials have agreed to a new five-year agreement for local garbage pickups. Assuming town council members do the same, community residents who want to have curbside pickup will continue to go through County Waste. The new rate will be $31.50 monthly for 95-gallon containers. In 2018, when the first agreement was signed, that base price was $21.87 per month.
Ahead of the town council meeting, Supervisor Neil Bettez would like to compare that rate to whatever a resident of Lloyd or Rosendale would be charged for the same service.
New online portal to obtain annual pass for Moriello Pool
The Town of New Paltz has announced its new online service portal now available at parksrec.egov.basgov.com/newpaltzny. Community members can now use this link through the town website to register a personal account for access to various town services.
Among other things, you can use the portal to obtain your annual pool pass and bypass long lines at the pool gate. Town staff members will be available to complete the registration process and issue ID cards for early-bird registration on May 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at town hall. The early-bird sign-up discount will apply through May 20. Look for access to more online services through the portal coming soon.