Media Contact: Chynna Cowart
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The Department of Local Affairs’ Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Fund program was created to assist political subdivisions that are socially and/or economically impacted by the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels. Funds are derived from the state severance tax on energy and mineral production and from a portion of the state’s share of royalties paid to the federal government for mining and drilling of minerals and mineral fuels on federally owned land.
The Division of Local Government recently awarded a total of $27.5M for Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) grants in two application rounds: $24.6M for 42 projects in Tier II (requesting more than $200,000 in grant money) and another $2.9M for 24 projects in Tier I (requesting less than $200,000). Additionally, the Division awarded $250K to 1 grantee for Broadband and $2.8M across 3 grantees for Renewable Energy projects.
Some Projects in Development
1. Peetz Fire Protection District Wildland Fire Truck
Peetz Fire Protection District was awarded $200,000 for a wildland fire truck with a 3,000 gallon water tank capacity that can be used as a firefighting apparatus. The District provides services to an area of 5,180 square miles including north-central Logan County, four counties in Nebraska and the U.S. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. The wildland fire truck replaces an outdated and inefficient truck to provide critical services such as structural and wildland fire suppression, medical first response, basic life support, hazardous materials (HAZMAT), and rescue operations.
2. Fairway Pines Sanitation District Reservoirs
Fairway Pines Sanitation District was awarded $176,675 for an innovative solution to address a wastewater discharge issue that will provide a water saving solution. Wastewater pond improvements and construction will result in adequate storage of all effluent water from the wastewater treatment system that will be piped to the local golf course to use as reclaimed water. This project provides a creative and energy efficient use of reclaimed water for golf course operations.
3. La Veta Library District HVAC Conversion
La Veta Public Library District was awarded $54,025 to install an energy efficient, all-electric heat pump system for the Library. Recent HVAC failures, property line limitations and a shared utility agreement put the Library at risk of being open year round. The new electric HVAC system will increase energy efficiency in a historic building allowing the District to provide a reliable educational resource in rural Colorado.
4. Alamosa Water Well Generators
The City of Alamosa was awarded $181,500 and will be installing two natural gas powered generators to 2 water wells that provide approximately 70% of the treated water used in the city. The municipal water supply relies on six electric pump wells tied to the electric power grid with only one backup generator. Any power outage with very limited storage capacity can disrupt power supply putting the water supply at risk of disruption. Adding a backup power supply increases the resiliency and consistency of a potable water supply for residents.
5. Prowers County Communications Center Upgrades
Prowers County Emergency Telephone Authority was awarded $150,000 to replace the computerized dispatch center that is experiencing critical failure due to outdated equipment that can no longer be serviced locally. An updated dispatch system will support redundant emergency services to communities throughout Prowers County and portions of Baca and Bent counties.
6. Fruita Wastewater Reclamation Facility Aeration System
Fruita was awarded $650,000 to construct and install a removable aeration grid system, demolition of the existing system and the installation of new equipment to handle capacity loads for future population growth.
7. Delta Community Safety Center
Delta was awarded $500,000 to rehabilitate the Delta National Guard Armory building to be the new home of the Delta Community Safety Center. This Center will serve the community in various programs such as a Crisis Response Unit, mental health co-response, homeless prevention and community outreach.
8. Breckenridge Alta Verde II Net Zero Housing
Breckenridge was awarded $750,000 for the design and installation of a solar photovoltaic system in the Alta Verde II affordable housing project. The solar system will generate 110-115% of the building’s energy load, offsetting 100% of the project’s net energy use over the course of a year. Net zero housing developments will ensure tenants benefit from reduced utility costs.
9. Centennial School District R-1 Solar & Microgrid
Centennial School District R-1 was awarded $1,531,655 for renewable energy components for this rural and under-resourced school facility pursuing solar array panels and a battery storage system to improve energy efficiency. This project is expected to use the savings to replace utility costs, achieve resiliency with the battery backup storage, and would bring the district close to net-zero greenhouse gas consumption.
Eligible entities to receive grants and loans include municipalities, counties, school districts, special districts and other political subdivisions and state agencies.
The Department of Local Affairs’ intent in administering this grant program is to do as outlined in statute and promote sustainable community development, increase livability and resilience of communities through strategic investments in asset-building activities. The most successful applications into this program are those that demonstrate urgency and local commitment to get the project done, show a high priority for the proposed application, are prepared to start work, and can demonstrate a relationship to energy and mineral impact in rural Colorado.
Next Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) Grant Application Round
The next round will have $25M available to both Tier I (up to $200,000) and Tier II ($200,001 to $750,000) applications.
The Energy Impact schedule highlights (dates and funding available subject to change) are as follows:
- Application period opens: March 1, 2023
- Application period closes: midnight April 1, 2023
- Final awards: June 2023