Saluda seeks stimulus money for energy savings

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, December 17, 2009

The City of Saluda is seeking a federal stimulus grant to make its facilities more energy efficient.
Saluda City Council met Monday and approved the city moving forward with an application for a grant of up to $200,000, with no matching funds required. Council also approved the expenditure of up to $1,200 to Jonathan Hollifields engineering firm for preparation work for the grant.
Hollifield reviewed Monday the requirements for the stimulus funding through the N.C. Department of Energy. The funding could be used for anything to make the citys facilities more energy efficient, such as changing out light bulbs to making its pumps more efficient. City officials said they initially thought the funding could be used to change out aging windows at city hall, but Hollifield said the funding will be granted primarily for quick projects, or projects that can be done immediately.
The state has approved firms to come in and assess the citys energy-efficiency and determine the projects for which the city can apply for funding. The firm will come into the city for one day and submit the application for Saluda. The approved firms are being paid for through the stimulus funding.
Hollifield also said Saluda will get more points if it jointly applies for funding with Tryon and/or Columbus. One municipality alone probably would not be granted the $200,000 maximum, but two towns together would have a better chance of getting more funding per town, Hollifield said. Saluda agreed to contact Tryon and Columbus to see if they are interested in applying for the funding jointly.

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