by Shane Duckworth, Montrose
Montrose WCC members cheered the county commissioners’ unanimous May 31 vote to participate in a statewide program that finances energy and water efficiency projects. Leaders of the Uncompahgre Valley Association (UVA), WCC’s local affiliate, had spent the preceding couple of months introducing and advocating the program to the county commissioners and staff.
Colorado’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a creative financing program made available by state statute for energy and water efficiency projects on commercial property. It leverages the use of private lending by using an established collection process: the county property tax assessment.
WCC members in Ouray and Mesa counties are also urging their commissioners to adopt C-PACE as part of our clean energy campaign.
Projects that show a positive cash flow from energy or water efficiency improvements can finance up to 100% of project costs through C-PACE by placing a voluntary assessment on the property owner’s tax bill. Because the improvements are tied to the property, the obligation automatically transfers to the new owner upon property sale, with the benefit that the new owner enjoy improved and upgraded buildings.
UVA first approached the county treasurer, then teamed up with Montrose Economic Development Council (MEDC) Director Sandy Head to make an initial presentation to Commissioner Keith Caddy, the county treasurer, county manager, and several local business leaders.
The group made a follow-up presentation to the county commissioners, manager, and interim attorney at a commissioners’ work session.
The commissioners made the unanimous opt-in decision a little more than a month later, citing the County’s Strategic Plan Priority #4, “Effective and Responsive Government,” and the fact that this stimulates local business and costs the county nothing to implement.
Please join us in thanking Commissioners Caddy, Roger Rash, and Glen Davis (as well as Treasurer Murphy, Manager Norris, and Acting Attorney Clawson) for reviewing and approving this beneficial program so quickly!