March 2017

Well it’s March and we are all enjoying an unusual reprieve from the harsh winter weather. But, if you been around here long enough, you know it’s only a reprieve and we’ll soon be back out with our shovels and snow blowers.
The last time I wrote, I mentioned that everything seems to be moving along smoothly and I’m glad to report it still is. However, much like my last job, as the old stuff goes out , the new stuff comes in. In this instance, it seems like the new is coming in faster than the old is going out. Which is good in our case because it represents the continuing positive trend in growth and progress.

One of the new directions that the City has recently initiated is a full examination of energy efficiency within our own facilities and public utilities. Recent state legislation, enacted in August 2016, now allows municipalities to take advantage of a lease program to finance new infrastructure that will result in energy savings. The legislation is called the Tax Exempt Lease Program or TELP. It’s great for us in that it allows us to finance energy saving infrastructure projects (which, by the way, are all almost in our Capital Improvement Plan already) over any number of years to a maximum of 20 years. It won’t be counted as debt (which is important to our financial stature) and the best part is that all the improvements will be paid for by the dollars saved in energy costs.

In other words, we are paying for all the improvements with money that we are already spending on energy. The initial study is expected to be completed by July of this year, but all of our preliminary information suggests that it will be successful. This could ultimately be a win-win-win in that we will be more energy efficient, be able to improve infrastructure and more efficiently spend tax dollars, which I’m sure everyone would agree is a good idea.
Hopefully in one of my near future articles I will be able to report a successful effort. See you next time.
-Mike

MarquetteMI.Gov

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