July 4, 2008

Town of Plattsburgh to Host Alternative Energy Fair

By Dan Heath, The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Jul. 4--PLATTSBURGH -- The Town of Plattsburgh is looking to help North Country residents deal with rising home-energy costs with an Alternative Energy Fair.

The fair is being organized by Town Assistant Codes Enforcement Officer Steve Imhoff, Senior Account Clerk Nikki Martin and Account Clerk Stephenie Mitchell.

"We want to get the message out to the North Country that there are things you can do to help with heat and save energy," Martin said. "This is something the whole community needs to be aware of."

Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett said the Energy Fair will have three distinct themes: vendors of alternative energy sources and equipment, safety and conservation education, and assistance and services available from local agencies.

Vendors will have energy sources and equipment on display in the Town Highway Garage adjacent to the Town Hall.

The education component will involve demonstrations on the safe use of chain saws, wood and pellet stove safety tips, the need for chimney cleaning and more. PowerPoint presentations will take place inside Town Hall.

"We want to help people who will face some very serious decisions this winter," Bassett said. "Our goal is to provide information about alternative heating methods and share information about various agencies that might help homeowners with their heating needs. Many homeowners are not aware of the organizations that can help and offer assistance."

Imhoff said give-aways will include a raffle for a tandem-truck load of firewood, with the proceeds going to the local Home Energy Assistance Program.

A number of vendors and exhibitors have signed up, including Hulburt Bros. (pellet stoves), Taylor Rental (chain saws, log splitters and wood stoves), Curtis Lumber (high-efficiency windows), JCEO (insulation exhibit), Choice Homes (Energy Star Homes), Clinton County Veterans Service Agency (assistance for veterans), New York State Public Service Commission (energy-conservation presentation) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Vendors of other alternative energy sources have been contacted, including infrared heating systems, chimney services, high-efficiency hot-water heaters and thermal-window inserts.

Martin said there is no fee for vendors or the public.

"This really is in the development stage," Bassett said. "Feedback from potential participants has been very good."

He said the town has a $300,000 grant from the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal to offer a program where local contractors can be reimbursed for weatherization and energy-related improvements for income-eligible homeowners.

"This will enable us to help some of the eligible residents in the town weatherize and do some home improvements," Bassett said.

He hopes the town will at least be able to gather names of eligible families and contractors by the time of the fair.

Hot dogs, hamburgers and other refreshments will be provided at lunch time.

Bassett said the town continues to seek sponsors for the event. The deadline for registration is July 14.

[email protected]


The Town of Plattsburgh Alternative Energy Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, at Plattsburgh Town Hall, 151 Banker Road.

For more information or to register before the July 14 deadline, contact Steve Imhoff at 562-6841 or [email protected], Nikki Martin at 562-6828 or [email protected] or Stephenie Mitchell at 562-6857 or [email protected]


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