Dillon gets grant to help town go green | SummitDaily.com

Dillon gets grant to help town go green

DILLON – To help the town in its quest to go green, Dillon recently received a grant from the Colorado Municipal League and the Walmart Foundation. It will aid with Dillon’s development of a town-wide sustainability strategy.

Other towns – Golden, Fowler, Eagle and Steamboat Springs/Routt County – have also received grants from the same initiative. All five small Colorado towns will share a $30,000 grant that enables the University of Colorado Denver to conduct urban infrastructure reviews and greenhouse gas evaluations. The university will also help the towns with the development of customized action plans to reduce their carbon footprints.

“One of the goals of Dillon Town Council is to promote energy- efficiency efforts,” said Dillon’s town planner Beverly Kaiser. “This is helping us figure out where we are in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, and then what we can do to reduce them.”

According to Kaiser, the University of Colorado Denver will also be writing portions of what will become an energy plan for the town, including data and recommendations for energy conservation and reductions.

The program will help the Town of Dillon track its progress in energy efficiency, conservation and the use of renewables, and scenario models will help the town envision its future with and without sustainable actions. Options for action will also be given to Dillon, with consideration given to public participation, cost, long-term fund savings and long-term energy savings.

UC Denver has already conducted research and outreach over the last five years for other Colorado cities like Denver, Broomfield, Arvada, Aurora, Central City and Durango. The UC Denver community outreach program was initially launched in 2005 through a GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) award from the U.S. Department of Education.

“Sustainable energy and infrastructure planning can help save money, protect the environment and build vibrant communities across Colorado,” said Anu Ramaswami, a professor of Environmental and sustainability Engineering who’s involved in the project at UC Denver. “It is often difficult for a community to know how to get started on developing a sustainability plan. This grant is helping us to conduct outreach so we can help Colorado communities become leaders in sustainability.”

After the Town of Dillon completes an energy plan, its officials hope to use it to get future funding for green initiatives. Kaiser said that Denver just received $6 million in funding from the Department of Energy because of its own energy plan.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.

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