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2009 Media Releases


Date:
May 12, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Milo Mumgaard, Mayor's Office, 441-7511


MAYOR OUTLINES PRIORITIES FOR ENERGY STIMULUS FUNDS
Public urged to share their ideas at lincoln.ne.gov

Mayor Chris Beutler today said his priorities for $2.4 million in federal energy stimulus funds coming to the City are to improve energy efficiency and boost the use of renewable and clean energy technologies across the community. He also said he will seek public input on how the City's "Cleaner Greener Lincoln" initiative should "invest" the funds. Mayor Beutler made his announcements at a news conference at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, which has earned a LEED Silver rating for its energy efficient features.

"Lincoln is positioned to be a leader in green building practices and in updating existing buildings to lower energy use," Beutler said. "We already have the people, businesses and organizations actively making this happen. Lincoln is showing how energy efficiency can be realized while fostering innovation and creating jobs. Energy efficiency puts money in the pockets of taxpayers and electricity ratepayers and builds our economy. Saving green by going green makes sense for Lincoln."

The City's Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative was launched in partnership with the Nebraska Attorney General's office, which provided $50,000 from a lawsuit settlement. The $2.4 million in stimulus funds to support the effort are available through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

The Mayor has five priority areas for the use of the federal energy stimulus funds:

  • Upgrading public buildings, parks and streets to be more energy efficient;
  • Boosting community efforts to reduce fossil fuel energy use and promote energy efficiency;
  • Supporting demonstrations of affordable, energy efficient building design and the greater use of renewable energy;
  • Expanding the use of renewable and clean alternative energy use by the City and in the community; and
  • Identifying new "green economy" opportunities for the community.

"These priorities will guide the Cleaner Greener Lincoln program in investing these federal dollars to inject stimulus funds into Lincoln's economy, promote energy savings and create jobs," Beutler said. "These stimulus investments also will leverage City and community programs and efforts that will garner savings and boost economic opportunity for years to come." He said the City would seek partnerships with the Lincoln Electric System, Lancaster County, the Public Building Commission, the Mayor's Environmental Task Force, the State energy office, nonprofits and private industry and business leaders.

The public has two opportunities to share their ideas:

  • The Mayor encourages residents to comment on uses for the funds through May 27 on the City Web site, lincoln.ne.gov (keywords: green or energy).
  • The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission will have a public hearing Wednesday on adopting changes to the "Community Vision" chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, to include sustainability as a focus of future growth. The meeting begins at 1 p.m. at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th St.

The Mayor will announce the City's plan in early June. "We will decide how to invest these stimulus dollars, based in large part on what I hear from the community," Beutler said. "But that's just the first step. Cleaner Greener Lincoln will continue to reach out to the community as we launch these new ways of making Lincoln more sustainable."


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