Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

City getting $5.1M to create jobs and do ‘green’ projects

Tucson is getting $5.1 million to make itself “greener.”

The money, a grant from the U.S. Energy Department, will go to projects that create jobs and a more energy-efficient community.

“It’s part of the recovery package,” said David Schaller, administrator for the city’s Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development.

“It gives us a chance to put resources towards something that we never had the opportunity to do before,” he said, “to make a transition from the carbon economy to a low-carbon, green economy.”

Funds may be used for weatherizing homes, performing energy audits of public buildings, replacing traffic lights, landfill updates and a host of other projects in 14 categories of eligible activities.

“We can’t (yet) tell people how we’re going to use the funds,” Schaller said.

The city has until June 25 to submit a proposal to the federal agency outlining how the money will be used.

Public meetings will be held before the proposal is submitted, Schaller said.

He will discuss the grant in more detail at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. It starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers, 255 W. Alameda St.

Anyone interested should attend the meetings, he said, and regularly check the city’s Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development site at www.tucsonaz.gov/ocsd.

Schaller said the city will gather information and go forward from there.

“We’ll decide on a mix of activities that best uses the money and produces the most savings,” he said.

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