Carbondale town trustees unanimously agreed last month to move ahead with the town of Carbondale Energy and Climate Protection Plan (energy plan) by allocating $140,000 in the 2007 budget to fund the initiative.
The money comes from franchise fees paid by Xcel, Holy Cross and KN Energy to operate in town. The fees vary every year but usually come out to about $150,000.
The Carbondale Environmental Board came up with the energy plan and originally presented it to the trustees in May. It is a comprehensive document that includes facts and figures on the town’s consumption of energy and things that can be done to minimize Carbondale’s effect on global climate change.
In May, the trustees directed town staff to come up with a strategy to implement the energy plan. Carbondale Town Manager Tom Baker agreed with the recommendation from the Environmental Board that a staff person must be committed to implementing the plan and money allocated for the plan to be successful.
Baker recommended that the town contract with the non profit Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) to implement the plan instead of hiring another town employee.
The town has also applied for more that $1.5 million from the federal government in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB). The interest on the bonds would be paid by the government as part of the 2005 federal energy bill.
The town would need to put the question to the voters if they decide to pursue the bonds, and they have taken the necessary steps with the Garfield County Clerk to ensure that the question could be on the ballot this November.