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Community input needed to shape sustainability plan

July 25, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

LANCASTER, N.Y., - A coalition of Western New York municipalities and organizations in Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties has received funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to create a regional sustainability plan as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Cleaner, Greener Communities Program.

The Western New York Regional Sustainability Planning process is underway and community input is needed to help shape the region's economic and environmental future.

The CGCP promotes smarter growth practices by funding sustainability planning at the regional level. Regional planning teams can partner with state and federal agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations, private businesses and residents to break down barriers and develop a sustainability plan that reflects their area's needs. This partnering helps to create more integrated, sustainable solutions and accelerate investment and actual development.

When completed, the WNYRSP will:

Plan for energy production and conservation, transportation, waste and water management, land use and livable communities, agriculture and forestry, economic development and open space;

Build upon Regional Economic Development planning efforts to integrate work toward economic prosperity with efforts to promote long-term sustainability;

Measure key indicators of sustainability, including greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, available natural resources and economic assets, liabilities and opportunities; and

Prioritize eligible projects that can apply for Cleaner, Greener Communities implementation funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Planning teams are looking for ideas from community members and input from experts across a wide range of fields. Upcoming public workshop will be held for people to share ideas:

Tuesday, July 24 from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Millennium Hotel Grand Ballroom , 2040 Walden Ave., Buffalo; and

Wednesday, July 25 from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Ramada Jamestown Hotel, 150 West Fourth St., Jamestown.

The WNYRSP team is led by Allegany County, with support from Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board, Ecology and Environment, Inc., and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute. To learn more about the project or to submit input via email, visit For questions about the project or the upcoming public meetings, contact Elizabeth Santacrose at 684-8060.



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