Stimulus funds will be used for heating project

Thursday, February 25, 2010
By Transcript Staff

Winthrop has received an $150,000 award to convert the Winthrop Town Hall heating plant to high-efficiency, gas-fueled boilers, under a special round of federal stimulus funding announced last week by Governor Deval Patrick.

The project will convert the existing Town Hall heating plant to gas-fueled boilers, and will remove the existing underground fuel tank, eliminate asbestos insulation, and install an emergency generator. This project will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 77,660 pounds.

A total of 111 communities across Massachusetts received funding for local projects under the federal stimulus, which brings $13 million in grants to Massachusetts communities with populations of 35,000 and under. The grants are designed to help cities and towns invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects – reducing long-term energy costs, increasing energy independence, and creating jobs.

“These grants represent critical assistance for municipalities trying to invest in alternative energy projects,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston. “The types of projects funded under these stimulus grants will help cities and towns create jobs while realizing substantial cost savings and increased energy efficiency.”

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in Boston, working with the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston, helped many cities and towns prepare grant applications for this stimulus funding.

Of the 111 communities, 97 will be receiving $12.2 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy Resources (DOER), while 35 communities – including some of the 97 receiving grants – will share $825,000 in consulting services to provide local officials with energy project expertise.

MAPC staff answered questions and reviewed the final draft of the grant application for Winthrop.

The Collins Center is part of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, and MAPC is a regional planning agency serving Greater Boston. Both are working in conjunction with the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office.

According to Governor Patrick, DOER’s Green Communities Division selected the 97 grant recipients from a pool of 133 applicants, ranking proposals based on projected greenhouse gas reductions, projected job creation potential, ability to leverage private capital and expertise from other partners, and overall readiness. Capped at $150,000 each, the grants will help cities and towns pay for shovel-ready projects at municipal buildings and schools.

For a complete list of funded projects, visit www.mass.gov/recovery.

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