Glenwood Council supports energy finance district |

Glenwood Council supports energy finance district

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Glenwood Springs City Council, absent Mayor Bruce Christensen, unanimously supported a Clean Energy Finance District for Garfield County.

Heather McGregor, outreach coordinator for the Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) – which manages the Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative (G-NECI) – presented to city council the concept of a clean energy financing district. The program is essentially a way to provide financing for eligible renewable energy projects or energy efficiency improvements that are done by property owners within the district.

Commercial and residential property owners would be able to apply for low-interest long-term loans, that would then be repaid through annual property tax bills. The loans would remain with the property if it were to change ownership before the loan was repaid in full.

Funding for the program would come in the form of grants and possibly through voter approved bond issues.

“It’s strictly a voluntary program,” McGregor said. “Only those who opt-in and borrow money from the fund would see this extra line item show up on their property tax assessment bill.”

The idea is that the county commissioners would create the local improvement district by resolution, towns then have the option to “opt-in” to the program by resolution, so that their respective property owners can participate.

McGregor was asking for support to show county commissioners that the municipalities are on board with creating the special district.

“We are in the process of going to all the town boards in the county to gather support and answer questions,” McGregor said.

McGregor told Council that the towns of Parachute, Rifle, and New Castle have already given their support for the special district.

The G-NECI Advisory Board unanimously recommended that county commissioners move forward on creating the opt-in clean energy financing district in November. The first step would be for commissioners to pass a resolution creating a local improvement district.

While county commissioners agreed to create the new district in November, they have yet to approve a resolution.

An April worksession has been scheduled between CLEER and county commissioners, McGregor said.

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