Colorado Springs invited to showcase two environmental programs at National Conference of Municipal Leaders
Colorado Springs has been invited to showcase two successful City programs at the National League of Cities' annual Congress of Cities & Exposition, Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Denver, Colorado. The 2010 City Showcase provides cities from across the country an opportunity to present new and noteworthy ideas to more than 2,500 conference participants. Colorado Springs will showcase City Engineering's Infrastructure Asset Management System and Stormwater Education, as well as the outstanding work the City's Office of Environmental Sustainability has done through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

As one of 26 cities represented, Colorado Springs will have an opportunity to provide in-depth information on how these programs were planned and implemented.

Colorado Springs Environmental Sustainability - Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant

All across the nation the Department of Energy (DOE) is funding Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) programs. The City of Colorado Springs received $3.6M in funding and is funding five energy efficiency activities as a direct result: Municipal facility energy efficiency retrofits ($2M), a large-scale LED streetlight pilot project ($500,000), affordable housing energy efficiency windows and doors ($400,000), a greenhouse gas inventory and development of reduction strategies ($100,000) and a pilot project with higher education institutions to perform commercial audit & retrofits ($550,000). The partnership with higher education institutions, in particular, is receiving great attention for its innovation and collaboration. The program, in partnership with municipally-owned Colorado Springs Utilities, is providing energy audits and energy improvement retrofits for small and mid-sized commercial and non-residential customers (previously, this sector was not served by efficiency programs in our community). The program combines the expertise of an engineering firm with the supervised paid help of higher education students to provide a meaningful ?green job? introduction for careers in energy management, energy engineering, or energy services companies. The program will also strengthen the chosen commercial and non-residential audit and retrofit customers through on-going energy cost reductions. The program is providing jobs in a spectrum of professional areas and is anticipated to result in a 4,510 metric ton reduction in Colorado Springs greenhouse gas emissions over ten years. (Pictured is a student employed through an EECBG-funded pilot project that partners with higher education institutions to perform audits and retrofits.)

Colorado Springs City Engineering - Infrastructure Asset Management System and Stormwater Public Education

City Engineering focuses on improving and gaining efficiencies with an Infrastructure Asset Management System (IAMS). This system electronically tracks citizen requests, work orders, maintenance history and inspections for assets such as signs, markings and bridges. The City is currently implementing signals, pavement, and stormwater assets. Knowing the true condition of the city?s assets, staff can manage and budget more accurately for the future.  Public education and outreach is an essential part of the city?s Federally-Mandated Municipal Stormwater Discharge Permit (MSDP). Through this program, the city promotes behavioral change and public involvement by providing presentations, informational literature, and training to help protect our area?s water quality.

The 34 participating programs were identified and hand selected by content experts and local leaders for their innovation in areas, such as community development, sustainability, youth engagement, and public works. Exhibits include municipalities of all sizes and geographic regions, with a special emphasis on programs and regional partnerships from within the state of Colorado.

View November 2010