Worker installs roof top solar photovoltaic panels Denver Colorado home

A worker installs solar power panels on a rooftop in Denver.

Boulder County commissioners last week awarded nearly $387,000 to the county's cities and towns through a voter-approved tax for environmental sustainability.

“We are thrilled to continue and expand this grant program, thanks to voters’ approval of the Sustainability Tax,” Commissioner Elise Jones said. The 2016 Sustainability Tax on sales and use tax revenue was destined for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources, and protecting human and environmental health, among other purposes.

Consequently, the county was able to raise the dollar amount on its Environmental Sustainability Grants to towns and cities, previously capped at $15,000. The Sustainability Matching Grant Program began in 2014 and localities must provide 25% of the amount of their requests.

Of the seven local efforts being funded, the city of Boulder will receive $143,000 to create a climate action strategy and to work towards electrifying its public transportation. Longmont will receive $125,800 for initiatives ranging from healthy foods to electric vehicle planning and a part-time neighborhood sustainability employee.

The towns of Erie, Lyons and Nederland will each receive $15,000 for water conservation (in the case of the first two) and to hire a sustainability consultant (for Nederland). The town of Jamestown will receive just short of $15,000 to support recycling and a community garden.

Lafayette will use its $30,000 for boosting solar energy and the number of electric vehicle charging stations. Finally, Louisville will have just over $28,000 to support its part-time sustainability employee.

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