FRISCO -County officials opened the doors to the newly completed $14 million Fleet Maintenance Facility at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon at the County Commons in Frisco.The county received $9.8 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help finance the 31,000 square foot building."This project is very important for Summit County and the future of the Summit Stage," said County Commissioner Thomas Davidson. "We're fortunate that we made the decisions that we made and that we were ready to receive this money," he added, referencing the fact that the county had the plans all ready to go when the federal funds became available for such "shovel-ready" projects.The new facility replaces an older fleet maintenance building constructed in the late 1960s. "We knew we needed a (new) building," said County Commissioner Karn Stieglemeier. "We took this giant leap of faith and we had no idea where the money would come from. So it's an amazing day." The facility was designed using a variety of energy-saving features and technology. Day lighting windows and reflective floors will limit electricity usage in the building. A solar wall will cut heating costs by warming the air before it enters the building, and insulated walls constructed largely from recycled materials will help with interior temperature control. It is also equipped with a pole-mounted photovoltaic solar power system expected to save almost $1,500 a year in electricity and increase the property value by nearly $30,000. Plans for the new facility began in 2007. Construction started in August of 2009 and created 121 jobs over the course of construction. Stimulus funding from the state was allocated based on public transit costs, covering only the parts of the facility that would be used for repairs and upkeep of the Summit Stage bus fleet. "This (facility) will really help Summit County serve 1.75 million riders," said U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who attended Monday's ribbon cutting ceremony. "(The Summit Stage is) used by tourists critical to our economy from the retail sector to the construction sector and, of course, by residents and families living in the area. I could not be more excited." The building will also be used for work on other county vehicles such as snowplows and police cars. The facility features 10 heavy duty bays for Summit Stage bus repairs and four automotive bays. It also includes a 2,400 square-foot drive-through vehicle wash and seven fueling stations. The new fleet maintenance facility is about 10,000 feet bigger and much safer than its predecessor. The nearly 50-year-old former maintenance building, located next door, leaked in the winter and was not equipped with proper repair stations. It will now be used by the Road and Bridge Department to store snowplows. "We went from the 19th century to the 21st century," Davidson said. "We skipped a whole century with this facility." SDN reporter Caddie Nath can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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