Pitkin County Energy District Measure, 2009

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A Pitkin County Energy District Measure appeared on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Pitkin County for county voters. The measure proposed allowing the county to issue bonds and provide loans to property owners so they can make energy efficient and renewable renovations to their homes. The county planned to issue up to $7 million in bonds to finance the loans.[1] The county council voted unanimously to place the measure on the ballot.[2]

Election results

The measure was approved.[3]

Measure 1A
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 2,624 73.03%
No 969 26.97%
Total votes 3,593 100.00%
Voter turnout NA%


Ballot summary

The ballot language read as follows:[4]

Shall Pitkin County debt (for its energy smart local improvement district) be increased by up to $7 million, with a maximum repayment cost of up to $15.3 million, with no increase in any county tax or tax rate, for the purpose of financing the costs of constructing, acquiring and installing renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements and equipment for property owners that qualify and agree to be included in the district, including but not limited to:

  • Energy improvements
    • upgrading insulation
    • replacing inefficient heating and cooling systems
    • sealing air leakages
  • Renewable energy improvements and equipment
    • solar photovoltaic improvements and equipment
    • solar thermal improvements and equipment
    • wind energy improvements and equipment

And any costs necessary or incidental thereto, including without limitation the cost of establishing reserves to secure the payment of such debt, by the issuance of special assessment bonds payable from special assessments imposed against benefited properties included in the district by agreement of the owners thereof, and from other funds that may be lawfully pledged to the payment of such bonds, which bonds shall bear interest at not more than a maximum net effective interest rate of 9%, shall be subject to redemption, with or without premium, shall be issued, dated, and sold at such time or times, at such prices (at, above or below par) and in such manner, in one or more series, and shall contain such terms, not inconsistent herewith, as the board of county commissioners may determine; and shall the county be authorized to enter into a multiple-fiscal year obligation to advance amounts for payment of a portion of such bonds and to reimburse itself for such advances by collecting unpaid assessments as provided in section 30-20-619 (2), Colorado Revised Statutes, as amended?

Background

The total cost of the program would be funded over a period of time by homeowners. The debt would be part of the homeowner's annual property tax. Should the property be sold, the debt would remain with the property until it was paid.[5] This was seen as a good way to encourage job growth, with plumbers and contractors being employed to make these energy efficient renovations.[1]

According to county officials at an August 25, 2009 meeting that payback on the loans could take a as long as 15 to 20 years.[6]

Supporters

Holy Cross Energy, the main local energy provider, supported this measure. In a letter to their users, Holy Cross stated their support of the measure and encouraged a positive vote for it in the upcoming election. Holy Cross issued renewable energy rebates to its customers in hopes to encourage more widespread use. If the measure passed, they said, it would take stress off the company in regards to pushing renewable energy sources and rather have the county doing the backing. Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Snowmass Village Town Council also supported the measure.[7]

See also

References