New Cassel, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was joined by Town of North Hempstead Supervisor, Jon Kaiman, today to announce $892,000 for the Town of North Hempstead from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which Senator Gillibrand helped pass last year. The Town of North Hempstead will direct 80 percent of the federal dollars towards the capital cost of high-efficiency technology in the USGBC Platinum-rated New Cassel Community Center, slated for construction this year. The remaining federal funding will go towards the Residential Retrofit Consortium.
“This is a great investment for North Hempstead, especially for the New Cassel community,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “These federal dollars will help us move forward on new clean energy projects to cut our emissions and improve our environment, while creating new jobs and rebuilding our economy.”
“I would like to thank Senator Gillibrand for walking the walk with us at the most local level of government,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “The partnerships we grow today with national leaders such as Senator Gillibrand will bring us real returns and real benefits. Our communities will be stronger, safer, smarter and, through projects such as the one we are speaking about today, more sustainable.
“Having Senator Gillibrand come into New Cassel to support the ongoing revitalization is a testament of how all levels of government can work together to improve the quality of life for everyone,” stated North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Vivian Russell.
The planned New Cassel Community Center will be the first LEED Platinum rated green community center in America. It will be a 50,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that will include a television broadcast studio, two regulation d basketball courts, multipurpose rooms, fitness and weight room, dance studio, performance space with stage, game room and senior lounge and administrative offices. It will also include a green jobs training project. Last fall, the grounds were cleared and blessed as the community moved one step closer to making the community center a reality.
“In a climate where things are so negative, this innovative redevelopment of our downtown is vital to the residents of the Hamlet of New Cassel,” stated Bishop Harvey. “I am extremely pleased that Senator Gillibrand is showing a genuine effort to maintain the level of commitment to redevelop our community, as did former Senator Hilary Clinton and Senator Charles Schumer.”
The EECBG program will provide grants for projects that reduce total energy use and fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency in local communities and nationwide. Activities eligible for EECBG funding include energy audits and building retrofits in the residential and commercial sector, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements.
Funding for the EECBG Program under the Recovery Act totals $3.2 billion, of which approximately $2.7 billion will be awarded through formula grants to more than 2,300 cities, counties, and states nationwide. In addition, more than $400 million will be delivered through competitive grants. Long Island received over $20 million in energy-efficiency block grants for projects across Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Joining the Senator and Supervisor at the site where the New Cassel Community Center will be built was Councilwoman Viviana Russell, Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, Legislator Robert Troiano, Bishop Lionel Harvey and members of the New Cassel community.