Franklin County receives grant for energy initiatives

BRENDAN MCDONOUGH/ THE TELEGRAMThe Franklin County Highway Garage will be going a little greener, adding new insulation and they will also be re-using oil from equipment, to not only save money but to make the building a little more environmentally friendly.

MALONE — The Franklin County Highway Department is taking extra steps to make its Malone garage more environmentally friendly.

County Manager Donna Kissane advised the Board of Legislators Thursday that the county has been awarded the Clean Energy Community grant for $150,000 through the New York State Energy Research and Development Corp.

“For me it was exciting information,” said Kissane

The money will be used to add spray foam insulation to the Highway Department building to help make it more energy efficient and save money.

“I hope there will be a huge energy savings that will be happening and we are going to look at replacing some doors that are very old,” Kissane said.

This is just the latest green energy project the county has embarked on. In October, the county added an electric car charger in the parking lot of the county courthouse and a second fast charging station nearby.

The first charging station was installed between the Franklin County Courthouse and the main parking lot, near the first floor entrance. It requires the electric cars being charged to be parked in one of two nearby parking spaces near the pole that holds the station.

Unlike the first one, the second unit will be a fast charging station, meaning that it will be able to charge an electric car in only a fraction of the time that it would normally take.

The charging station are installed and maintained by the New York Power Authority, which will provide the electricity; that power will be drawn from a pole on Amsden Street.

The newer station will be able to change a larger variety of electric cars and is completely paid for by NYPA — including maintenance.

Kissane says through this action they were able to get the additional grant funding that was announced this past Thursday.

“The NYSERDA grant that we received for insulation of the highway garage … is a grant that is the result of our classification of a community for green energy,” said Kissane.

Other energy-saving steps are also planned at the garage.

Franklin County Highway Superintendent Brad Marsh said there are two furnaces in the building and another step he plans to use recycled oil to power them.

“We take all of the oil from our equipment, when we service and change our oil, we keep that oil and reuse it,” said Marsh.

“There is a possibility that we might be able to heat the garage with this oil,” said Marsh.

Marsh says the key to energy savings is keeping detailed records.

“By tracking it, we could then see what our savings would be,” said Marsh.

Marsh also said he is hoping the insulation project will be complete in the next several months.

“It would a great thing if we can get it done by this summer or this spring and then next winter track the usage,” he said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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