Dubuque, IA Recovery Funding

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Dubuque, IA Recovery Funding

Postby StephanieCutts » Tue May 26, 2009 10:41 am

Dubuque, IA

Just three days after Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol's annual state of the city address focused on the Sustainable Dubuque initiative, the city on Thursday received a half-million-dollar pat on the back.

Buol received word the U.S. Department of Energy is awarding Dubuque a $574,700 block grant for energy efficiency and conservation programs.

"This is a great opportunity for the city of Dubuque to advance our vision," Buol said.

The grant means jobs for people who design and install the systems that reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions, targeting the city's goals of economic prosperity and environmental integrity as expressed in the Sustainable Dubuque initiative, he noted.

The list of Iowa's local governmental bodies that will be sharing the total of $21.1 million in grants funded by the federal economic recovery package came in a press release from Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

Harkin described the block grants as "one step in President Obama's plan to revisit the way that the United States looks at energy, while stimulating our economy by creating 'green' jobs."

City staff will have a year to submit a strategy to the Department of Energy on how they propose using the grant money to advance the plan created last year by the Sustainable Dubuque Task Force. The department will have 120 days to evaluate the proposal and give its approval.

The task force, under the direction of Assistant City Manager Cindy Steinhauser, spent several months last year tabulating results from a Sustainable Dubuque survey in which citizens ranked their priorities in 11 categories. The results of that survey are the principles city staff will be using to develop strategy for the block grant, Buol said.

The federal funds will be augmented by money the City Council is budgeting for the initiative, Buol said, putting people to work doing energy audits, retrofitting buildings, replacing inefficient heating systems and working on weatherization projects, among other things.

"A lot of people have worked very hard to get us where we are," said Buol, "and it's good to be a part of that group."
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