Tracker: Eagle County buildings to get wind power | VailDaily.com
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Tracker: Eagle County buildings to get wind power

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

How they voted: All in favor

What that means: All of Eagle County’s main buildings will be wind powered through a Holy Cross energy program. That includes the main county building in Eagle, the Justice Center, the Road and Bridge and ECOTransit buildings in Gypsum, and the Eagle River Center and the district attorney’s office.

The wind power will cost the county an additional $78,000 more each year. However, the county will also be trimming down its energy use in the coming months. A recent energy audit showed several ways the county buildings could be more energy efficient, and the county plans to implement some of those suggestions.

Plans include using energy-efficient light bulbs and getting new boilers, Public Works Manager Tom Johnson said.

The energy saving measures will cut down the county’s energy use by about 20 percent, helping to offset the cost of the wind power, commissioners said.

Using wind power is one of the county’s new green initiatives. Commissioners have also passed environmental regulations for commercial and private building and bought a fleet of 20 hybrid Toyota Priuses.

Other plans include xeriscaping the county campus to save water, and using geothermal heating at the new Justice Center.

“Overall the county is coming out ahead on energy costs, especially if you factor in fuel and all that,” Communications Director Justin Finestone. “It’s all helping to reduce our carbon footprint.”

What’s next? The Holy Cross wind power program is “up and running,” Johnson said, so the new system should start soon. Also, commissioners will approve the energy-saving improvements in the next couple weeks.

Who they talked to: Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District (WECMRD) members

What they talked about: WECMRD wants to build a fieldhouse at Freedom Park in Edwards and are looking for funding partners.

Preliminary plans for the project include indoor volleyball and basketball courts, an indoor turf field and meeting rooms. The estimated cost is $8.7 million, and the district would be asking the county to pitch in about $2 million.

Commissioners did not rule out helping to fund the project, but wanted to see more specific plans and uses for the fieldhouse.

What’s next? WECMRD planners will be going back to the drawing board, but the commissioners will be keeping their eye on the project.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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