Common Council Reveals Clean Energy Status

Mayor Ronald Woodward
Mayor Ronald Woodward reads a proclamation.

FULTON – At last night’s Common Council meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 15, Mayor Ronald Woodward and City Clerk/Chamberlain Daniel O’Brien announced Fulton has been designated as a Clean Energy Community by the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority. 

To be eligible for this, the city had to complete four out of 10 High Impact Actions. Fulton’s actions included:

  • Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officers.
  • Adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the county’s municipal buildings. 
  • Converted streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.
  • Streamlined the local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the NYS Unified Solar Permit.

Woodward said he gave O’Brien this task four years ago and said he went above and beyond in meeting the goals of energy use reduction and energy cost reduction.

This Clean Energy Communities initiative began in August 2016 to support local government leaders throughout New York state by giving grants for implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in those communities. This program is supportive of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal

Since Fulton has become one of these communities, the city has the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 grant toward additional clean energy projects with no local cost share, once those designated funds are exhausted. 

“I’m proud of this project,” O’Brien said. “Not only as the city chamberlain, but to also be a steward to the environment through this project.”

During public forum Dawn Bristol brought up another aspect of the environment that she believes the city is not being an advocate of. She said she had gone down to Sharp’s Pond and discovered that both the man made dam and the beaver dam had been removed. 

Image of missing dam boards.
Photo provided by Dawn Bristol.

“The dam is gone. It’s been cleared right out to the bottom concrete,” Bristoll said.

Bristol recalled the council had decided back in June to leave the decision of Sharp’s Pond’s fate to the next administration. 

She asked when the permit to deconstruct the dam was sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation and when the DEC conducted their environmental impact study. 

“So I assume you went to the DEC and found out we’re supposed to have our permit,” Woodward said. “Have them give me a call.”

Bristol said she has been in contact with the DEC and expects they will be calling the mayor’s office to discuss the dam with him. 

In regards to the environmental impact study, Woodward said they already know the dam will turn back into a creek. Bristol said there needs to be a study done to see how it will impact the wildlife that lives in and around the pond.

She is concerned about the fish, ducks, beavers and the water chestnuts, an invasive species that went down into the river as a result of the boards being removed.

Bristol also arranged to present for an ADA compliant park to the council.

Also during the meeting Frank Castiglia, Oswego County legislator and Fulton resident, discussed stump removal and upkeep of properties and their assessments. 

In the agenda, the council approved the city clerk’s August report, a local law amendment in ‘zoning,’ for the mayor to sign an agreement with Burke Group for GASB 75 valuation services (this has to do with post-retirement healthcare plans), for the mayor to sign a three-year agreement with USI Insurance Services (for city employees) and to advertise for a public hearing regarding the restriction of cats and dogs that run freely throughout the city.  

This public hearing will discuss the issue of feral cats the city faces, and what the council plans to do about it. It will be held during the next regularly scheduled Common Council meeting – Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Fulton Municipal Building.


  1. It’s so nice to finally have the truth about the LED street lights in our city, and guess what it wasnt the city councilor, Who claimed all of the credit, it was the Mayor and the City Chamberlain. Great job. And as far as Sharps Pond the councilman in question voted to decommission and drain said pond. That would be your 5th ward councilor. FOIL FOIL FOIL!! So now all of the fish and wildlife are dying. Great job again. And said councilman also voted to fill in the pool with Nestle debris another victory for this councilman. You are really NOT FOR THE PEOPLE!!!!

  2. I like that Dan O’Brien was given rightful credit for Fulton going green and for the LED streetlights in Fulton. Why do you keep fighting that Dennis Merlino opened the door for New York to have LED streetlights legalized? Did it just go “poof” and one day LED streetlights went from illegal to legal. Just like the public goes to council meetings and pushes for things to get done, Merlino went to the state and pushed for LEDs to be legalized. I would be proud of that if I did that. That’s tremendous for a Fulton native to accomplish that. And I always hear him say “thank you Dan O’Brien for making this possible in Fulton”. Merlino always gives Dan O’Brien credit. Thank goodness for these people helping our city.

  3. Again a false narrative by your councilman, ask the state who paved the way for this he had nothing to do with it. He is not a Fulton native either. People only know what they are told, get the facts before making your statement. If he did this for the entire state why hasnt he been recognized by the State officials. We would like documentation from the state that he by himself did this. Mortgaging Sharps pond another burden on Fulton taxpayers for it to be demolished what a great decision, is this fiscally responsible? Another loss to our city residents! Why didnt we maintain it to begin with?

  4. @Laurie: Sharps Pond was created by Man’s dam. Dam removal reverts Mother Nature back to Her homeostasis and fish, amphibians and aquatic insects can now move above and below that obstruction. The creek can now flow the way it was intended to flow. Ice storage is no longer needed now that we have refrigerators.

  5. To all concerned .I see and know what goes on at sharps’ pond everyday. The city should just sell the property and, cut the loss from the books. A private party would take better care of the area.

  6. Hurray for the 5th ward councilman! I can’t wait until those LED savings are reflected in my property taxes! My 5th ward property value goes only down while my taxes go up and services decrease. Get out of your 3 foot world over on 10th st and get into the rest of the ward. Listen and be attentive to everyones concerns and interests. What impacts neighborhoods may not affect you personally, however in the long run they do. Most degredation and issues start small and grow larger like a burning ember until they are out of control. Very much like the current state of the city. Grass roots improvement, enforcement, preservation, accountability AT THE LOCAL (NEIGHBORHOOD) level is where it has to start. Everyone needs to play by the rules. Its time for a much needed change in local government.

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