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Briefs: Solar panels installed in Vail

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO Colorado

VAIL Solar panels and fire-resistant shingles have been installed on the roof of the Visitor Information Center on top of the village parking garage. Holy Cross Energy has given the town a $9,000 rebate as part of program meant to encourage the use of alternative energy. Installing the panels cost $26,000. The information center is the first building in Eagle County to use solar power, said Bill Carlson, the towns environmental health officer.The town has also installed energy-efficient light bulbs and programmable thermostats in several of its buildings. In this years community survey, residents ranked environmental protection as a top concern, Vail Town Manager Stan Zemler said. These initiatives are part of an environmental strategy being implemented by the town to reduce our impact on the environment, said Zemler. Whether its re-roofing our buildings with fire-resistant materials, the addition of a solar panel pilot project on our buildings or purchasing wind power, we hope people will see these projects and take steps to research options on how they can reduce their own impact on the environment. By installing the solar panels, the town will save approximately 7,524 kilowatt hours per year, which accounts for 16,553 pounds or 7.6 metric tons of carbon emissions per year. This is an annual savings of approximately $3,000 a year. Zemler says the town will look into installing solar panels on other buildings, including its housing complexes, bus shelters, public works buildings and the community development department office. For more information, contact Town of Vail Environmental Health Officer Bill Carlson at 479-2333.

EAGLE COUNTY The county will participate in a statewide emergency exercise on Nov. 17 to test the ability to vaccinate a large number of people in a short amount of time. On a small scale, this exercise will test Eagle Countys Mass Vaccination Plan, which would be initiated in the event of a pandemic outbreak of disease. This emergency exercise is real in the sense that we will be vaccinating the public with this seasons flu vaccine, Public Health Nurse Bethany Van Wyk said. We are asking the general public to come by and help us to practice this exercise by getting their flu shot, said Public Health Manager, Jill Hunsaker. Vaccinating a large number of participants is the only way to test the system.If an event like a pandemic flu outbreak were to occur, the federal government has a plan to distribute large quantities of vaccine and other medications to states and local health departments, Hunsaker said. These flu clinic exercises will be hosted between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at Eagle Valley Middle School in Eagle and Berry Creek Middle School in Edwards. Flu vaccinations cost $20 for adults and $5 for children. Medicaid and Medicare are also accepted. Participants are advised to wear a short sleeved shirt. For more information contact Eagle County Health & Human Services at 328-8840.

DENVER Patrick McConathy, a rancher from McCoy, was named to the board of governors of the Colorado State University System on Wednesday.The nine-member board appointed McConathy to the position held by Jeff Shoemaker of Denver, who resigned earlier this year. Board members are typically appointed by the governor, but the board can fill vacancies that occur mid-term.Shoemaker served on the board from 2003-2007.McConathy has spent most of his career in the oil and gas industry. He began working for the Placid Oil Co. in Shreveport, La., before starting McConathy Production Co., which operated wells in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Wyoming. He later purchased additional wells in those states under the name Phoenix Oil and Gas.McConathy’s numerous community activities in McCoy and nearby Vail include serving as member and chairman of the Vail Mountain School Board of Trustees and in the Leadership Circle of U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. He was a member and chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee of Trinity Church in Edwards and co-founded a spiritual-based retreat for men at his Yarmony Creek Lodge in McCoy.


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