QUEENSBURY — New LED streetlights and a second electric vehicle are in the works for the town of Queensbury.
The town has a $50,000 grant from the state Energy & Development Research Authority for its work on energy-efficiency projects last year. For that amount of money, the town could likely buy a plug-in hybrid SUV and replace 118 lights on Main Street and along the strip of outlet stores on Route 9.
“We should be able to do both,” Supervisor John Strough said.
The lighting will be changed this winter (see correction). The town will also save money on its electric bill because of the switch.
The town has gone out for bids on the hybrid SUV, to replace an old car in the town’s Building and Codes department. Director Dave Hatin requested an SUV because his staff often needs four-wheel-drive to get through mud and snow while doing inspections. He also needs a larger vehicle, because they bring bulky equipment with them at times, he said.
While the Town Board could have considered gas-powered SUVs, the board put out a bid for hybrids. It could be the start of a new policy for all replacement vehicles.
Board member Catherine Atherden wants to keep buying electric vehicles, whenever possible.
“The situation that we’re in, with global warming and climate change, my opinion is we go to electric cars,” she said. “That’s my personal opinion. The town hasn’t come out and said that’s the policy.”
But she wants the town to go in that direction.
“We want to get off of fossil fuels,” she said.
And even though there are few hybrid SUVs, she said the town probably won’t spend much more than it would spend on a gas-powered SUV, in the long run.
“I don’t think the cost is huge,” she said. “The electric distance is maybe 130, 140 miles. Probably we’d never go to the gas anyway. It sounds like a good deal.”
Both purchases — lighting and a hybrid SUV — were recommended by the Clean Energy Committee.