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August 28, 2020
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) recently awarded $16.8 million to 39 local governments through Tier II and Tier I of the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Funds (EIAF) program. Funding from the EIAF program is ongoing and helps communities socially or economically affected by the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels. The department recently awarded 19 local governments, including Haxtun, Creede, and Dolores, a total of $14 million.
DOLA awarded the Haxtun Hospital District in Haxtun $1 million for updates to the primary infrastructure in the 1964 facility. Needs include refurbishment of water, electrical, and HVAC systems in order for current technology and equipment to become an option for the district, which serves the most northeastern population of the state. The Town of Creede was awarded $323,000 for expansion of the Creede Early Learning Center. Renovations will help to improve quality standards by meeting Colorado Department of Education design guidelines, including the latest ADA requirements. The expansion will increase space provisions to 30 square feet per child indoors and 75 square feet per child outdoors, in addition to increasing the number of children overall it can accommodate. The Town of Dolores was awarded nearly $300,000 for solar installations at their wastewater treatment plant, town workshop and town hall.
The installations will offset 100% of the town’s current electrical usage at each location. Programs that receive Tier I grant funding are eligible for up to $200,000 for their projects. In the most recent cycle, DOLA awarded 20 local governments a total of $2.8 million in Tier I awards.
These grants are extremely important to impacted local governments. This makes the most recent projections of severance tax revenue extremely concerning. Revenues in the Local Government and Mineral Energy Impact Fund are projected to decline from $128 million in FY 2018–19 to $70 million in FY 2019–20, and finally to $12 million in FY 2020–21. CML will continue to watch the projections and defend these funds as future state budgets are balanced.
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