BY PETE DIMOLA, The Daily Gazette
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The Electric City has sought to rebrand itself as a smart one.
The vision was largely affirmed on Monday with a visit from state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who touched down for the launch of a report on how governments statewide are deploying new technology.
“Schenectady is at the forefront of these efforts,” said DiNapoli at Schenectady Fire Station No. 3 in Mont Pleasant.
The state’s top money watcher called Mayor Gary McCarthy a “tireless advocate” for leveraging technology to reform how government delivers services, and highlighted several of the city’s projects in the report, including its partnership with National Grid to swap out street lights with new energy-efficient LED models.
The report, DiNapoli said, was influenced by a visit to Schenectady two years ago and is designed to provide a broad overview of the ways that local governments in New York are adopting smart technologies.
Applications range from street lighting to traffic and emissions control monitoring and outfitting vehicles with new technologies, including the city’s fleet of snow plows, which are equipped with GPS and can be tracked remotely by residents during storms.
McCarthy said the city is continuing to select which specific sensors will be co-located on the poles, but said environmental sectors will be “dispersed in key locations.”
Less glamorous applications allow localities to utilize online bill payments, including water, sewer parking tickets, and provide a channel for constituents to submit complaints.
“When successful, these efficiencies have the potential to free up resources for other critical needs, help leaders hold the line on taxes and encourage new growth and development,” DiNapoli said.
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