Pitkin County to field requests for energy efficiency support
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” A local energy efficiency think tank will ask Pitkin County Tuesday to approve more than $2 million in grants to a variety of governmental and private renewable energy projects and programs around the Roaring Fork Valley.
The Community Office of Resource Efficiency board of directors, which is chaired by Commissioner Patti Clapper, is asking for $2,004,800 to be parceled out among 13 grant applicants, each of which has a plan to spend the money for an environmentally friendly initiative.
The requests, which dip into the joint Aspen-Pitkin County Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP) fund, also will be put before the Aspen City Council later in December.
According to a memo to the county commissioners from the CORE board, currently there is more than $3.3 million in the fund. The money comes from mitigation fees paid by developers whose proposed projects are expected to use extra energy, through such amenities as spas and snowmelt driveways. The fund has been growing at a rate of about $1.5 million per year, according to the memo.
Among the grant requests are several from the city itself, including one for $541,000 in REMP funds to support a number of city programs, such as the global warming project coordinator’s salary, the ZGreen business outreach program, affordable-housing energy improvements and other needs.
The county, too, is asking itself for money, in part to pay the salary of Pitkin County energy management director Dylan Hoffman, and in part to fund such projects as HVAC upgrades on several county buildings, replacement of a boiler in the county library, retrofitting the lighting in some buildings and other projects.
The grant requests also come from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies ” $63,000 to help the organization achieve its goal of carbon neutrality within a decade; Thrift Shop of Aspen ” $90,000 to pay for energy efficiency upgrades to its new building, now under construction; the Aspen fire station ” $112,500 to help pay for energy efficiency upgrades to the new firehouse in downtown Aspen; Aspen Renewable Energy Day ” $20,000 to promote energy efficiency awareness; and others.
The grant applications also are coming from downvalley organizations, including the town of Carbondale, for everything from money to fund its energy and climate protection plan, to money for installing a photovoltaic system at the Carbondale Senior Housing complex; and the Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Basalt ” $20,000 to help pay for the cost of rebuilding and improve upon one of its year-round greenhouses, which was destroyed in a fire.
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It’s hard to fight City Hall and even harder to fight well-funded neighbors who don’t want any development near them, a local man has realized. So he settled for less than what he and his partner bought the property for.