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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - October 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk Count
y Publishing Company

County, Onalaska pursuing energy grants to cut fuel bills
Polk County Enterprise - October 2009

LIVINGSTON — Polk County and some of its cities are eligible for grant money from the state for energy conservation efforts. Many of the less-populated cities and counties around the state are automatically eligible for the stimulus money. The City of Livingston will not be seeking these grants at the present time. City leaders say they have not found any that are suitable for the projects the city has going on right now. Polk County, though, is eligible to receive $100,000 of this grant money and intends to make full use of it. “Plans are on the way and we don’t intend to let that stimulus money get away,” Assistant to County Judge Marcia Cook said. “That’s a $100,000 chunk we can use to make buildings more energy efficient.” The City of Onalaska received the packet of information Wednesday. City leaders say they will get together to determine just how they want to use the grant money they are eligible fore.

“I’ll get with Roy Newport and we’ll decide what projects best fit the needs of the City of Onalaska,” Mayor Lew Vail said. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced last week that more than a thousand small cities and over 200 counties in Texas can receive grants to help with energy efficiency and energy conservation projects. A total of about $45 million in federal stimulus funds can be used for projects that include public building energy retrofits and energy efficient street lighting. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program will be administered through the Comptroller’s State Energy Conservation Office (SECO). The list of the cities and counties, and the allocated grant amounts they can receive, can be found at www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/ arra/eecbg/index.php. “Small cities and counties don’t have to bid for these grants, the money is already allocated to them if they choose to use it,” Combs said.

“We want to make sure every eligible city and county gets to use these grants and we’ll provide as much help as possible. The allocated amounts range from $20,000 to $150,000.” SECO will distribute the block grants to cities with populations under 35,000 and counties with populations under 200,000, based on 2007 census estimates. There are 1,127 cities and 244 counties in these categories. Packets have been mailed to the mayors and county judges with an acceptance form to proceed with the application process, examples of eligible projects and a sample of official resolutions that cities and counties

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