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Monroe County Seeks New Conservation Projects

The County hopes to fund future projects from revenue accrued from solar panels and other conservation efforts.

Monroe County Council

Photo: Indiana Public Media

The County Council passed the ordinance 5-2

The Monroe County Council approved an Energy Conservation Fund Thursday night that will be supported by accrued savings made from county conservation efforts. Revenue for the fund will come in part from Bloomington’s North Showers Building solar panels in the form of solar tax credits and carbon offset credits.

Council member Rick Dietz wrote the ordinance and says the new fund will create the potential for more savings as a result of increased energy efficiency projects across the county.

“What goes into the fund will then provide this positive feedback loop for making more investments and more savings,” Dietz says.

Council member Marty Hawk voted against the ordinance saying additional revenue saved by energy conservation should go into county general and used to decrease deficit spending. She also disagrees with taking money saved by specific departments and moving those savings to another project.

“If the highway department saves dollars by reducing the mileage in any way why should we take those dollars and support some other department,” Hawk says. “Those dollars should go into supporting highway functions, to repair our roads and so forth.”

But Dietz says any savings identified by energy efficiency efforts will be documented and assessed by the council. He says only then will they make a decision as to where and how much money the council will appropriate into the Energy Conservation Fund.

The ordinance passed 5 to 2.

Kyle Clayton

Kyle Clayton is a WFIU news producer. He is currently studying journalism at Indiana University and comes to WFIU following an internship in the fall of 2011. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned home to Indiana in 2008 to begin his education and pursue his interests in writing.

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