Patchogue Village has its sights set on going green — environmentally speaking — when it comes to its village-owned vehicles, from Public Safety to the Department of Public Works.
Trustee Joseph Keyes drafted the policy three months ago, and after much surveying and researching, eventually introduced it to the Village Board, which approved the initiative Feb. 10.
“We spend a fortune on fuel for vehicles as is,” Keyes told GreaterPatchogue. “I only did a small survey that hit the tip of the iceberg … It’s an environmental concern and we’re all about promoting clean air and sustainability in the village.”
The policy, overall, indicates that the village will be more eco-conscious when it comes to buying and maintaining operating vehicles — like parking enforcement cars. As part of the initiative, the village will be mandating that operators of those vehicles can not leave them idling for more than 10 minutes.
Keyes says the goal is to start replacing traditional vehicles with fuel-hybrid or fully electric ones.
“It’s certainly worth it,” he added. “It would help and benefit the village in the long run.”
The village’s first electric vehicle charging station is also now located outside Village Hall.
The new policy stems from the village’s PEP committee, which was responsible for the Styrofoam ban in 2018, along with other incentives.
The village spends about $60,000 annually in fuel, alone, Keys said.
The change in policy will eventually help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also saving some money.
“This is a huge step in the right direction,” Keyes said.
Mayor Paul Pontieri says the policy is all about Patchogue doing its small part.
“We can’t control the environment around the world,” he said. “But we can be an example in the village and in our community.”
“If we can make other communities think about it, then we’re doing our job,” he added.
While the changes might be small for now, the idea is for longer lasting results.
Keyes envisions a fleet of larger vehicles, such as garbage trucks, that are more fuel-efficient to further expand what the village is calling its Green Fleet policy.
Photos by Julianne Mosher