Many cities have been looking forward to the $3.2 billion included the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. However, that does not mean they have been putting off completing energy conservation projects with their own resources.

Energy efficiency projects were a priority in Louisville, Ky., before the EECBG money was announced in February. The city recently completed its first green roof on a municipal building and is near completion on two energy-efficient fire stations that include LED lighting, geothermal heating, stormwater mitigation and pervious concrete, says Mayor Jerry Abramson's Communications Coordinator Kerri Richardson. Those projects, along with a new library branch designed following sustainability standards, were completed without the benefit of stimulus money, Richardson says.

But, the city has many more plans for energy-efficiency projects that could use financial support. In February, Mayor Abramson established 10 "Louisville At Work Teams" made up of government, education and community leaders that will prioritize projects and apply for ARRA grants. Each of the teams focuses on different types of projects — such as transportation and infrastructure, education, public and affordable housing, economic development, and energy efficiency — which would improve the city and create jobs.

"We have a separate, dedicated grant writing team that will begin applying for [EECBG] grants as soon as the teams identify the proper projects," Richardson says. "We have a lot of projects in the hopper, but the highest priorities have not yet been established."

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