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Articles

City Wants Share Of Federal Cash

By Sondra Murphy

Taking advantage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the Ojai City Council adopted a resolution authorizing the County of Ventura to submit a joint application that includes Ojai for an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.

The city’s Public Works director, Mike Culver, presented the report to the council and said the ARRA includes $3.2 billion allocated nationwide for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program, of which California’s portion is $351.5 million. EECBG funds may be used for development of local energy plans, energy assessments, programs and other activities that result in long-term energy savings, transform markets or provide jobs.
According to the allocation formula, the city of Ojai is eligible to apply for $42,929 under the program, which is figured per capita. Culver said the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance believes that a collaborative application from combined county jurisdictions would result in a higher probability of a successful grant application. The alliance also views collaboration as a way to provide optimal cost efficiency for any projects under the program.
VCREA will coordinate the proposed application representing the cities of Ojai, Fillmore, Port Hueneme and Santa Paula, with the county acting as the lead agency in preparing and filing the application.
Culver said VCREA met with each agency and established a list of potential projects for each which meet the requirements of the EECBG program. The selected projects for Ojai are retrofits and replacement upgrades in existing buildings that are critical to the safety and security of the city to assist in bringing old facilities up to new codes and standards.
“Why does it have to be all retrofits,” Council-woman Carol Smith asked during the meeting.
“That was based on guidelines put out by the Energy Commission,” said Culver. “These were the projects that met those guidelines put down by the feds.

The city’s Public Works director, Mike Culver, presented the report to the council and said the ARRA includes $3.2 billion allocated nationwide for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program, of which California’s portion is $351.5 million. EECBG funds

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