(Mayor Spano installs the last of more than 11,300 new LED Street Lights.)
Mayor Mike Spano is committed to making Yonkers a leader in sustainability. Over the last two years, working alongside the New York State Power Authority and other partners, Yonkers has launched one of the most ambitious and comprehensive energy plans of any city in the state – Yonkers Green City.
The award-winning ‘daylighting’ of the Saw Mill River has been called a model for urban redevelopment and environmental revitalization. While Phase I of the project – known as Van der Donck Park – continues to attract national attention from National Geographic, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Mayor Spano recently broke ground on Phase II of the daylighting that will see even more portions of the covered river unearthed for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Yonkers’ streets are a little brighter at night. That’s because the Mayor launched the Yonkers Green City LED Streetlight Replacement Project. Street by street, the city is replacing 12,000 old, inefficient “cobra head” streetlights with new LEDs that will save taxpayers $18 million in energy costs over the next 10 years, improve public safety and increase visibility. Other municipalities in Westchester and beyond have taken notice and are following Yonkers’ lead.
One of the biggest consumers of energy in cities are municipal buildings, but Yonkers is not sitting idly by as buildings consume our energy and wallets. In 2012, Yonkers completed energy efficiency upgrades at nine city facilities, saving taxpayers a $250,000 annually in energy costs and reducing greenhouse gases.
The City’s not stopping at municipal buildings. All building owners, public and private, should be part of the effort to reduce energy use. With the support of the City Council, Mayor Spano signed into law the city’s first-ever Sustainable Buildings Ordinance, encouraging and incentivizing the construction and retrofitting of city-owned and privately-owned buildings in Yonkers. It’s good for the city’s bottom line, good for business and it supports a better quality of life for residents and future generations.