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Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums
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Building & Neighborhood Issues

Published: Summer 1998

PILOT PROJECT BRINGS ENERGY SAVINGS TO SMALL COOPERATIVES
To help low- and moderate-income Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) cooperative buildings gain purchasing power in the deregulated electric marketplace, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSEARDA) is funding a pilot project by the consulting firm of Energy Information Systems, Inc. (EIS) and the West Side Heights HDFC Council and Housing Energy Resources Ltd. (HER).

Selected HDFC buildings will be master-metered so that they can benefit from wholesale electric rates. Once master-metered, these buildings will be united in a buyers group to seek the benefits of energy deregulation by purchasing electricity in the deregulated marketplace.

"As the energy service industry changes, it will be important to ensure that the needs of lower-income consumers are not lost in the new competitive marketplace," states NYSERDA president F. William Valentino. "This initiative will help to increase the market power of low- and moderate-income customers, giving them greater ability to negotiate lower rates and ensure their access to newer, energy-efficient technologies."

The knowledge and institutional infrastructure developed by this project will have benefits for all of New York's housing cooperatives and condominiums. As the findings of the project emerge, they will be shared with CNYC, the HDFC Coalition, the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives and the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives.

The pilot project addresses buildings situated on the West Side of Manhattan north of 110th Street. As it moves to the bulk-purchase stage, it could include additional buildings that meet certain criteria. To find out whether your building may participate, contact Lewis Kwit of EIS at (212) 366-6661.

The Public Service Commission, EIS and HER are organizing a Conference on metering technology in early October. Specifics are not available as this Newsletter goes to press. Cooperatives interested in participating can contact EIS at (212) 366-6661 for further details.


SUPERINTENDENT'S CLUB ESTABLISHED BY AHI
The Apartment House Institute (AHI) of New York City Technical College has established a forum for building superintendents to meet and discuss common problems. The New York Superintendent's Club is in the process of incorporating as a not-for-profit organization, thanks to start-up funding provided by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Club has a schedule of monthly meetings with guest speakers on topics of concern. The August meeting focused on energy-efficient lighting, and the technical discussion at the September 15th meeting will be on "Window Glass, Balances, Shoes and Pins".

Members of the Super's Club are welcome at all meetings and will receive the Super's Club Newsletter, which contains useful information on building operations and maintenance. Advertising will be accepted in the newsletter to supplement membership dues in funding the operation of the organization.

The Super's Club is happy to welcome new members. There are three membership categories, as follows:

  • $25. Full Member (supers and maintenance directors).
  • $15. Associate Member (handymen and porters).
  • $100. Industry Member (suppliers, managers, others).

Enrollment fees are due by September 15th of each year, the beginning of the Club's fiscal year. To enroll your super or for additional information and meeting locations contact the Apartment House Institute at (718) 260--5225. Membership checks, payable to "City Tech Foundation" and annotated "Super's Club" can be sent to AHI at NYC Technical College, 250 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Dick Koral, founder of the Apartment House Institute and guiding spirit behind the Super's Club, will again offer his excellent seminar called, "A Program for Effective Maintenance" at CNYC's 18th annual Cooperative Housing Conference on Sunday, November 15th. This and other workshops at the Conference -- including a new workshop on Controlling Graffiti and Vandalism and a session on Maintaining the Luster of Public Spaces -- will be of interest to your building superintendent.


FREE CONSULTATIONS
FROM QUEENS GREENING COMPOST PROJECT

The Queens Greening Compost Project of the Queens Botanical Garden has contacted CNYC to offer free on-site consultations to Queens cooperatives and condominiums and their grounds managers. Available on a first-come, first-served basis, this program will include a site visit by compost project staff to assess your green space and management practices and to provide information, training and resources to help you manage your lawns, trees, plantings and garden debris more efficiently. All recommendations are customized for each specific site; the consultants are also available to make board presentations.

The benefits of adopting the holistic programs offered by the Queens Greening Compost Project include the reduction of time devoted to maintaining lawn areas and cost savings realized through changes in fertilizing applications, other lawn treatments and reduced water use. On-site recycling of leaves and other garden debris into rich compost or mulch reduces topsoil needs, and toxic chemicals can be minimized or eliminated. All this with the added bonus of an attractive landscape.

Telephone technical support is always available, and participants may also attend free training seminars held at botanical gardens throughout the city at various times throughout the year.

Training and technical support is available on the following topics:

  • Mulching and composting of fall leaves
  • Low maintenance lawn care
  • Water conservation
  • Organic pest/weed management

A basic manual covering low-maintenance lawn care and on-site recycling of leaves is also available at no charge to participating management firms.

Several housing sites in Queens have already taken advantage of the services provided by the Queens Greening Compost Project. There is absolutely no cost. To take advantage of this offer or for information regarding future seminars, call the Compost Project Hotline at (718) 539-5296.

Cooperatives and condominium managers on Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx may contact compost projects of their own borough's botanical gardens for information on similar services. These cooperatives may also want to have representatives attend the seminar on landscaping, roof gardens and the types of plants that can thrive in an urban environment, to be presented at CNYC's 18th annual Cooperative Housing Conference on Sunday, November 15, 1998.


RECYCLING REMINDERS: PLACE PHONE BOOKS WITH NEWSPAPERS
New residential telephone directories are distributed every year beginning with Manhattan in July. Old phone books can be recycled during the six weeks following the distribution of the new ones, simply by stacking them along with newspapers on recycling days.

This important information and more like it will be reviewed at CNYC's 18th annual Cooperative Housing Conference on Sunday, November 15, 1998, by Pat Grayson of the New York City Department of Sanitation and recycling consultant Eve Martinez. They will have pointers on how to better ensure that the residents of your building cooperate with recycling requirements.

 
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