Mayor Keeler proposes to invest energy cost savings into improving parks, playgrounds

Albany County
bill keeler cohoes

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The City of Cohoes is switching out its 1,598 street lights to energy efficient Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs with “smart lighting” infrastructure, which the City expects will save $9 million over 20 years. Mayor Bill Keeler is proposing to invest $750,000 of that taxpayer savings into a renewal of the city’s parks and playgrounds, starting this summer.

The initiative is included in a proposed “Historic Cleaner Greener Cohoes” Bond. This also includes a previously announced plan to invest an additional $3 million of the savings to support building energy efficiency programs.

“These projects are a win for taxpayers, the environment, and the next generation. We save energy by converting to LED street lights,” Mayor Keeler said. “We generate funds to invest in additional energy savings upgrades to our historic city buildings. At the same time we are upgrading our parks and incorporating technology infrastructure.”

Keeler adds that safe, inviting, lively neighborhood parks help strengthen communities. Focus will be given on Greenbriar Park and Sunset Park.

Inclusive playground equipment, repaving and/or restriping basketball and tennis courts (including for pickle ball), new basketball backboards, new hoops and tennis nets, new fencing, new seating, paving, and signage are all included in the comprehensive plan.

“Historic Cleaner Greener Cohoes” Bond

Mayor Keeler is seeking Common Council approval for the $6.6 million “Historic Cleaner Greener Cohoes” Bond. 

Projects include:

  • $2.5 million Green Energy Street Lighting program to convert the city’s 1,598 street lights to energy efficient Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs with “smart lighting” infrastructure. Energy cost and other savings is calculated to be $9 million over 20 years ($2.9 million in energy savings and $6 million in reductions in service and supplier fees to National Grid).
  • $3 million Historic Anchor Building Restoration Fund initiative to reinvest a portion of the financial gains from the LED street lighting conversion project into additional energy saving upgrades to city-owned buildings, including City Hall, the Library, and the Music Hall/Visitors Center (National Bank Building).
  • $750,000 Cohoes Park and Playgrounds Renewal project: A three-year program to upgrade parks and playgrounds city-wide.
  • $350,000 Smart Cities Technology plan: A five year program to incorporate “smart” technologies into the city’s operations to improve services, safety, and accessibility.

Mayor Keeler’s “Historic Cleaner Greener Cohoes” Bond requires the approval of the Cohoes Common Council. The Bond and associated projects were discussed during the Tuesday, April 13 Common Council workshop, and is scheduled for a vote at their next meeting on April 27.

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