Friday, May 1, 2009

Ritter Awards Grants for Local Infrastructure Projects

Municipalities and counties around Colorado were awarded Friday more than $23 million from the state's severance tax and mineral lease revenues for a variety of infrastructure projects, according to an announcement issued by Gov. Bill Ritter's office.

“Communities all across Colorado are struggling to cope with the challenges of current economic conditions,” said Ritter. "These grants will allow communities to make key investments in projects that will put people back to work and strengthen local economies in the short-term, while making communities more sustainable and economically healthy in the long-term.”

The 47 funded projects include construction of a library in El Paso county, design of a water treatment plant for Rifle, replacement of a natural gas pipeline in Ignacio, replacement of the Beaver Creek Bridge in La Plata county, construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Fruita and a new police station in Windsor, and provision of digital mammography equipment at the Salida hospital.

Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Grant funds are matched by other private and public funds, which will result in the $23.2 million announced by Ritter being leveraged to $218.5 million for construction and other development activity around the state.

"Projects that meet basic needs like water, sewer, drainage, and local roads received highest priority," Department of Local Affairs director Susan Kirkpatrick said. "Projects that demonstrated a strong energy conservation or renewable energy component also received priority.”

The grant program was created by the General Assembly in 1977.