published Monday, July 19th, 2010

Rhea County area to receive energy-efficiency grants

BY THE NUMBERS

$3.8 million: Energy efficiency grants awarded

42: Projects funded

$100,000: Grants to Rhea County, Dayton and Spring City

Source: Gov. Phil Bredesen’s office

By Kimberly McMillian

Correspondent

DAYTON, Tenn. — Rhea County, Dayton and Spring City will be among several Southeast Tennessee areas that each will receive $100,000 in federal grants.

Gov. Phil Bredesen and state Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber announced that $3.8 million in energy-efficiency grants would be awarded from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for 42 projects throughout the area.

Earlier this year, $9.2 million was awarded to fund 100 projects in 20 Southeast Tennessee cities.

Rhea County and Dayton will receive $100,000 each to use toward retrofitting. County Executive Billy Ray Patton said the grant would allow “today’s components to replace antiquated light fixtures.”

The city of Dayton Electric and Water Department, the Rhea County Courthouse annex, the county jail and the election commission office would receive the updated components to conserve energy, Mr. Patton said.

Traffic lights in downtown Dayton also soon will use LED lights to cut electricity costs and become more energy-efficient, he said.

Spring City Manager Woody Evans said the city’s heating and air-conditioning units are a “number of years old” and inefficient. The new retrofits would decrease costs to taxpayers, he said.

The Spring City Water Works and Sewer Works plants and two units at City Hall would receive the heating and air conditioning retrofits, Mr. Evans said.

“It’s hard for power plants to keep it up” and conserve energy, but the updated components should reduce operating expenses, he said.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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