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East County Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009 5 years ago

Manatee receives $2.4 million for energy efficiencies

by: The Observer Staff

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners today accepted $2.4 million in federal stimulus funds as part of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

The grant is projected to retain three Manatee County government jobs and could retain or create up to 64 jobs in the private sector over the next six months. The grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program which will funnel up to $454 million into Florida for state, local and tribal governments to increase energy efficiencies in facilities and other areas.

“This grant will help lower energy costs and it fits well with Manatee County Government’s overall goals of becoming a greener organization,” said Brenda Rogers, director of Manatee County Department of Agriculture and Resource Conservation and the leader of Manatee County’s Green Team.

Breakdown of the projects
· $1.5 million to remove of two aged 120-ton chillers and connection to cooling towers in the Historic Court House with high-efficiency centrifugal chillers in the Judicial Center. This is estimated to save 240,000 kilowatt hours per year, saving Manatee County an estimated $138,000 per year in energy, labor and maintenance costs.

· $580,436 to replace 1,178 roadway light fixtures with high-efficiency LED lighting, resulting in a savings of 501,875 kilowatt hours per year;

· $119,764 to replace inefficient lighting at Manatee County Detention Center. The improvements will reduce kilowatt hours consumed and electrical costs.

· $124,000 to install solar lights around two parking lots of G.T. Bray Park. The new lights will be installed at C.V. Walton Racquet Center and at little league ball fields.

· $60,000 will go toward Workforce Development programs that support energy efficiency and weatherization in buildings and education for homeowners. The programs will be offered through the University of Florida’s Extension Service, a division of Manatee County Department of Agriculture and Resource Conservation.

· $20,000 will be applied over the next two years toward specialized training programs for Manatee County Building Department staff to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications for plans review.

The Green Team’s goals range from planting one million trees over the next five years to becoming a certified Green Government through the Florida Green Building Coalition. Rogers said the grant application was a concerted Green Team effort with contributions from all County department representatives.

For more information, call Manatee County Grants Coordinator Maggie Marr at (941) 745-3735. To learn more about going green at home or in the office, call (941) 722-4524 or visit online at

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