The Department of Local Affairs Awards More Than $69M Energy/Mineral Impact Grants to 73 Communities Across Colorado

Hide Featured Image

Media Contact: Chynna Cowart | 303-656-7464

The Department of Local Affairs’ (DOLA) Division of Local Government (DLG) awarded $69,721,151, across 80 projects, in 73 communities for Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) grants for the Cycle 23-11. The EIAF Grant Program assists political subdivisions facing social and/or economic impacts as an outcome of the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels. This round of funding will help grantees improve drinking water infrastructure, increase rural broadband, build more housing, ensure safe roads, provide childcare, and create sustainable downtown areas. The EIAF Grant Fund is funded by 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.

"It has been an honor and a distinct pleasure leading this process where in my 5 year tenure, DOLA’s EIAF program distributed more than $407M to over 1,250 projects. It is exciting to see local governments across the state wisely investing in their critical infrastructure on behalf of all residents and leveraging their funds to be stronger for their future,” said Rick Garcia, Executive Director of DOLA.

The Division encouraged local governments applying for EIAF funding to apply for the State’s first ever initiatives such as More Housing Now, Climate Resilience and Main Street Live. As a result, EIAF saw an increase in applications received for these types of projects.

1. Yampa Valley Housing Authority Brown Ranch Geothermal Infrastructure

The Division of Local Government awarded the Yampa Valley Housing Authority $5,000,000 from the Climate Resilience Challenge initiative for construction of geothermal infrastructure at the Brown Ranch affordable housing development to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution while lowering the housing cost burden for owners and renters.

“Thanks to the support of DOLA and funding from the Climate Resilience Challenge, YVHA will be able to construct a community geothermal grid to provide heating and cooling to the first 400-480 homes at Brown Ranch. This system is anticipated to reduce residents’ energy bills by 52% while reducing onsite greenhouse gas emissions by a similar margin,” said Emily Katzman, Development Project Manager. “Geothermal truly is the intersection of affordability and sustainability. We are grateful to the State of Colorado for investing in the infrastructure to make this project possible.”

2. Rio Blanco County Emergency Operations Center & Evacuation Site

The Division of Local Government awarded Rio Blanco County $100,000 for the expansion of an Emergency Operations Center that will include electric heat pumps, advanced communications technology, meeting space and building improvements to enhance regional response and emergency capacity.

“Rio Blanco County extends our gratitude to DOLA's EIAF grant program for their valuable assistance. The grant money will enable us to expand our Emergency Operations Center, which will now include advanced communication technology, meeting space, electric heat pumps, and building improvements,” said Ty Gates, Rio Blanco County Commissioner. “We are confident that these upgrades will enhance our regional response and emergency capacity.”

3. Stratton Childcare Center Design & Engineering

The Division of Local Government awarded the Town of Stratton $150,000 for design and engineering for an early childcare center. 

“We are pleased to announce the next step in our efforts to improve the quality of life for area residents here in Stratton in pursuing the development of a childcare center,” said Matt Brachtenbach, Mayor of Stratton. “This project has been in the works since 2018 with site purchases and improvements; grant writing; and community engagement. The support from DOLA in enabling us to obtain bid ready proposals has been instrumental in moving the project forward.” 

4. Rifle Climate Action Plan

The Division of Local Government awarded the City of Rifle $90,000 from the Climate Resilience Challenge initiative to create a Climate Action Plan to attract climate-conscious private development and recommend energy efficiency measures in retrofits and new construction

“The City of Rifle is excited to be a recipient of the planning grant.  We will use the funding to promote programs that will reduce the demand for energy and reduce costs for our community,” said Tommy Klein, City of Rile Manager.

5. Larimer County Wildfire Mitigation Strategy

The Division of Local Government awarded Larimer County $150,000 to develop a strategy that will support the removal of woody biomass from wildfire-prone areas, reuse and recycle the material, and utilize renewable energy resources to heat county buildings. This project will decrease the amount of slash burning and improve air quality.

“We are thankful for this award and are excited to partner with DOLA on this project. The amount of mitigation-generated woody biomass is starting to impede progress on increasing the pace and scale of forest and wildfire mitigation treatments, and this project allows us to take a deep dive into understanding the nuances of the challenges locally and how we can help resolve them,” said Commissioner Jody Shadduck-McNally, Larimer County Board of County Commissioners. “This award serves as a catalyst to bring our partners and stakeholders to the table to collaborate on how together we can improve our capacities of handling this woody biomass, and will lead to discovery of opportunities where we can use this woody biomass as a resource to accomplish some of our sustainability and resilience goals.”

6. Oak Creek South Routt County Housing Needs Assessment

The Division of Local Government awarded the Town of Oak Creek $200,000 to conduct a Housing Needs Assessment. (HNA). The HNA will identify and prioritize housing needs, review land use codes and make recommendations on changes needed for the types of housing development, density, and size of homes identified for the region to help address the critical need of workforce housing. 

“Working with DOLA, the Town of Oak Creek and regional partners will explore, identify and prioritize housing needs for local workers, review local land use codes for residential housing opportunities and consider how to best provide needed residential housing for the local workforce and their families,” said David Torgler, Town Administrator/Clerk. “Housing challenges are faced by local residents working in local schools, construction, public safety, medical services, restaurants and small retailers, and public water, wastewater and electric services.  Town officials and residents want to address these challenges and provide quality housing opportunities for these people.”

7. Upper San Juan Health Services District Oxygen Generation Building

The Division of Local Government awarded Upper San Juan Health Service District $507,581 for the construction of a building to house and operate oxygen generation equipment at the Pagosa Springs Medical Center to ensure that medical oxygen is immediately available to patients. The current source for oxygen is over 100 miles away with travel over a significant mountain pass that may pose a risk of delivery delay due to snowstorms and wildfires.

“Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s CEO Rhonda P. Webb, M.D. explained, “Our medical center is in a rural area and as a result, we face challenges to the timely delivery of tanked oxygen especially during harsh winter months,” said Jodi Scarpa, Manager of Community Relations and Foundation Department. “The generous DOLA grant funding will allow us to construct a building and operationalize our oxygen generation equipment to provide a sustainable, steady supply of oxygen for patient care.”

8. Denver Climate Resilience Hub

The Division of Local Government awarded the City and County of Denver $2,006,621 to install equipment on the community solar carport at the Central Park Recreation Center to operate the building in a reduced capacity to meet emergency needs of the community, such as temporary housing, medical services, or community heating and cooling centers.

“Denver will need more resiliency hubs as the city faces a future with more wildfires, floods, heat-related events, and power outages due to the climate crisis,”  said Jonathan Rogers, Manager, Mobility & Energy Transition. “The award from the State of Colorado leverages existing resources and prior state investment to help Denver’s Central Park Recreation Center meet the needs of the community in emergency situations. This investment will also provide a framework that Denver can replicate at other potential resiliency hubs around the city.”

9. Alamosa Tierra Azul Housing Development Site Improvements

The Division of Local Government awarded the City of Alamosa $1,916,170 from the More Housing Now initiative for public infrastructure supporting the Tierra Azul housing development in southwest Alamosa. This multi-phase project will introduce 406 new housing units offering a diverse range of housing options spanning different income brackets to address the critical need for housing in the city.

“As a small rural community, Alamosa is experiencing the same housing crisis found in communities across Colorado where a significant portion of our workforce is not able to find housing that is affordable, forcing families to make difficult decisions and hurting the very fabric of our community,” said Heather Sanchez, City Manager. “This funding allows the City of Alamosa to partner with Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation in a way otherwise not possible in order to construct housing that targets the full spectrum of need as identified in our Housing Plan.  The funding is our light at the end of the housing crisis tunnel!”  



Show Post Date