Regional Planning Commission Announces Intermunicipal Achievement Awards

Awards recognize intermunicipal cooperation among municipalities and organizations in the Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission’s (CDRPC) is pleased to announce the winners of the Erastus Corning, 2nd Achievement Awards for Intermunicipal Cooperation. Five awards were presented to organizations, municipalities and individuals at CDRPC’s Local Government Workshop held on January 9, 2019.  The Awards recognize municipalities and organizations whose efforts have significantly contributed to the advancement of intermunicipal and interagency cooperation and regional planning within the Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady.

The award-winning initiatives, municipalities and organizations include: Rocco A. Ferraro, AICP; Albany Pool Communities CSO Long Term Control Plan; Rensselaer Land Trust County-Wide Land Use Planning for Rensselaer County, NY; Town of Clifton Park and Town of Halfmoon Community Connections Project; and Solarize Albany.

The awards are named in honor of CDRPC’s first Chairman, Erastus Corning, 2nd, Mayor of the City of Albany from 1942-1983, and recognize initiatives that involved at least two local jurisdictions or entities within the four-county region.

A brief description of each of the award-winning projects and individuals follows:

Albany Pool Communities CSO Long Term Control Plan

City of Albany, City of Troy, City of Cohoes, City of Watervliet, City of Rensselaer, Village of Green Island, Albany County Water Purification District, Rensselaer County Sewer District


L-R Rocky Ferraro, Sean Ward-Village of Green Island, David Wheatley- City of Watervliet

Rocco A. Ferraro, AICP

In the early 2000s a process started whereby riverfront communities in the region began looking at a regional approach to address the impact of combined sewer overflows into the Hudson River and move toward water quality compliance. This process of collaboration included six separate municipalities, two county sewer districts, and was led by an honest broker who transformed the vision for the intermunicipal project into reality.  Core to the implementation of the intermunicipal project was the development of a long-term control plan that includes some $136 million dollars in projects that, once constructed, will reduce CSO contamination in the Hudson River and dramatically improve water quality.  The communities also developed mechanisms to share project costs and through a variety of intermunicipal agreements and finally through the development of local authority- the Albany CSO Pool Communities Corporation.    Guided by state agency partners and supported by state and local elected officials, the Cities of Albany, Troy, Cohoes, Watervliet, Rensselaer, the Village of Green Island, the Albany County Water Purification District and the Rensselaer County Sewer District have already completed 51 of the 67 total projects that, once implemented, will reduce CSO volume in the Hudson River by 50%.  The six participating municipalities and two county sewer districts were recognized for their collaboration on the project.  Rocco Ferraro was recognized individually for his leadership related to the intermunicipal effort during his time as Executive Director of CDRPC from 2003-2016.

Rensselaer Land Trust County-Wide Land Use Planning for Rensselaer County, NY

L-R: Mark Castiglione, Nick Conrad, Rensselaer Land Trust

Rensselaer County Executive, Rensselaer County Legislature, Town of East Greenbush, Town of Nassau, Village of Valley Falls, John Winter and James Tolisano, Innovations in Conservation LLC, Rick Lederer-Barnes, Upstate GIS, Michael Batcher, Nick Conrad, David Hunt, City of Rensselaer, City of Troy, Town of East Greenbush, Town of North Greenbush, Town of Schagticoke, Town of Schodack, Village of Castleton-on-Hudson, Planning4Places, Weston & Sampson 

The Rensselaer County Land Trust (RLT) engaged a variety of municipal and agency partners in the development of both a county-wide Land Conservation Plan and a comprehensive Hudson River Access Plan developed for the county’s 42 miles of shoreline. The County-wide Land Conservation Plan identifies key lands within the county for conservation and provides a framework to assist and inspire conservation efforts among partner organizations and municipalities. Collaborating with local officials and agency partners, The Hudson River Access plan identifies 44 sites or projects that could reasonably be developed within the next 5-10 years. Projects were ranked for viability and benefit and those identified as top projects, received planning level sketch designs and cost estimates that will facilitate implementation.  Both plans also won Awards from the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Town of Clifton Park and Town of Halfmoon Community Connections Project Supervisor Philip Barrett, Town of Clifton Park, Supervisor Kevin Tollisen, Town of Halfmoon 

L-R Town of Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett, Town of Halfmoon Supervisor Kevin Tollisen

The towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon have worked collaboratively to build trail connections between their communities. The projects share a common theme of enhancing pedestrian and bicycle access along a number of east-west routes physically re-connecting the towns which were separated with the construction of the Northway in the 1960s.  The towns engaged residents and many non-profit and agency partners to plan the routes. Today, the towns have successfully completed two intermunicipal trail projects and are underway with a third.  The Crescent Road Joint Multi-Use Trail, completed in 2017, connects residential communities to schools and provides access to commercial areas near exit 8.  The Erie Canal Community Connector Trail, completed in 2018, not only connects the towns but also connects people with the history of the Erie Canal by using the historic Erie Canal Towpath along its route.   A third connector project at Sitterly Road Corridor is scheduled to begin construction in 2019.

Solarize Albany

L-R David Barnard, William Reinhardt – Solarize Albany

Solarize Albany is a nonprofit established in 2014 to help capital district individuals and communities save money by adopting renewable energy technologies including solar and electric vehicles.  The effort was originally focused on Albany County but its geographic scope has expanded to an 8 county region. Not only has Solarize Albany facilitated more than 100 residential solar installations, it is also helping connect more and more people to community solar options, electric vehicles and charging stations, and is now working with local governments and other partners on the advancement of community choice aggregation which provides community-wide or multi-community approaches to cost-savings associated with the bulk purchase of clean energy.

Nominations were reviewed by a Committee and evaluated using the following criteria: 1) The project has achieved significant benefits, efficiency or cost-savings; 2) involves 2 or more local entities, municipalities non-profits etc; 3) demonstrates community involvement and support; 4) degree of innovative solutions to overcome challenges. For individual awards, the nomination must demonstrate the individual’s significant contribution to advancing intermunicipal partnerships. The committee included representatives from the Capital District Planners Association, Capital District Transportation Committee, University at Albany Department of Geography and Planning, the New York Planning Federation, New York State Department of State.

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC), a regional planning and resource center, has been providing support to New York’s Capital Region for over 50 years. The CDRPC provides objective analysis of data, trends, opportunities, and challenges relevant to the Region’s economic development and planning communities. Since its creation, the Commission has been promoting intergovernmental cooperation; communicating, collaborating, and facilitating regional initiatives; and fostering dialogues on solutions to regional problems. The CDRPC was established by an agreement signed by representatives of Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga and Schenectady Counties in 1967, and these counties continue their commitment to the organization by providing financial support for its programs and services to this day.

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Download Award Winner Pictures here: