$1m OK'd to stimulate city, 2 towns

NASHUA – Three local communities have a chance at more than $1 million of federal stimulus money earmarked for energy efficiency and conservation projects.

More than $12.5 million is available to the state as a whole through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds targeted for green projects through the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen announced Thursday.

The bulk of the money, $9.6 million, will go to the state. Nashua is approved for $834,000, Merrimack for $116,400 and Hudson for $104,500, according to Shaheen’s office.

While the communities have been approved for those amounts, they still have to submit proposals that fit the criteria of the grant program to receive cash, according to Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau.

Lozeau said she plans to learn what projects qualify for the money and cross-match that with a list of projects the city is already interested in.

“We have some ideas about different things we might want to do,” she said, without being more specific.

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Hudson Town Manager Steve Malizia hadn’t heard about the town’s latest windfall Thursday afternoon and couldn’t immediately say what projects the money would be used for.

“Any stimulus money we get would be for a project we’re ready to go on,” he said. “Any money we receive just means money we don’t have to raise through taxes.”

Hudson has already completed a few energy-efficiency projects, including replacing traffic lights with LED bulbs and installing high-efficiency lights in all town facilities, Malizia said.

The millions coming to the state is part of $3.2 billion released across the country.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program gives money to states and local governments for projects that reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions, according to Shaheen’s office, as well as those that increase overall energy efficiency.


The money can be used for things like energy audits or energy efficiency retrofits of residential or commercial buildings, transportation projects that conserve energy or incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Local leaders will have the flexibility in how they put these resources to work, but we will hold them accountable for making the investments quickly and wisely to spur the local economy and cut energy use,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement.

The money is in addition to more than $49 million the federal government released to the state March 12 for weatherization and energy funding.