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November 2016 Sustainability Newsletter

Welcome to the November 2016  Sustainability E-Newsletter

A Safe Place to Rest

The City of Fort Collins, the faith community and other non-profit organizations are recruiting volunteers for a new pilot program called "A Safe Place to Rest" that will provide additional and flexible shelter this winter.  The program is based on a Nashville, Tenn., program called "Room In the Inn" that brings the entire community together on a nightly basis to donate shelter space.

"We are working together cooperatively to strengthen the community's ability to serve people in times of need, building our resiliency together by connecting and coordinating our resources," said Holly LeMasurier, who is coordinating the program for the City. "This shelter project is truly saving lives and helping people. Basically, the model is essentially coordinated community-building for a cause, at its heart."

For more information about A Safe Place to Rest, contact Holly LeMasurier at aGxlbWFzdXJpZXJAZmNnb3YuY29t or volunteer for the program.

Mayor, SBA Visit Small Businesses on Small Business Saturday

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Mayor Wade Troxell and Small Business Administration Region VIII Administrator Betsy Markey visited small businesses in Downtown Fort Collins on Saturday after Thanksgiving to highlight the importance of shopping at locally owned businesses during Small Business Saturday. The Mayor also presented a proclamation about Small Business Saturday at the November 15 regular City Council meeting to community business leaders representing the North and South Fort Collins Business Associations, the Downtown Business Association and the Larimer Small Business Development Center. Read the proclamation.

Human Relations Commission Awards

The City of Fort Collins Human Relations Commission has announced the recipients of the 2016 Human Relations Award who will be honored at a ceremony on Tuesday, December 6.

Recipients were chosen for their promotion of acceptance and diversity in Fort Collins. Nominations were accepted in five categories: Youth, Adult, Senior, Organization, and Police and Emergency Services. The recipients are:

  • Youth – Julio Flores
  • Adult – Janet Freeman
  • Senior – Kitty Kent
  • Organization – FoCo Café
  • Police and Emergency Services – Mike Chavez

Fort Collins One of 10 Cities in National Energy Project

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The City of Fort Collins has been named one of 10 participating cities in the City Energy Project, a national network of communities that are sharing best practices and providing concrete tools to help commercial buildings cut their energy use.

The City Energy Project, a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation, aims to create healthier, more prosperous communities by improving energy efficiency of large buildings. The project began with 10 cities, including Denver, in 2014.

This year, in addition to Fort Collins, the project added Des Moines, Iowa; Miami-Dade County; New Orleans; Pittsburgh; Providence, R.I.; Reno, Nev.; San Jose, Calif.; St. Louis; and St. Paul, Minn.

The project is expected to save Fort Collins residents and businesses as much as $11 million annually on their energy bills by 2030. More information on the City Energy Project.

“In aiming to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Fort Collins has set some of the most aspirational goals in the nation,” said City Manager Darin Atteberry. “We must reduce energy consumption in our buildings to achieve our goals, and we are proud to partner with City Energy Project to access the technical expertise of both the project’s lead organizations and other communities to make that happen.”

Read more about the announcement.

Connecting the Workforce to Energy Efficiency

New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing Co. – two companies that are committed to creating low-carbon business operations - are collaborating with the City to help connect their employees to City sustainability programs that can improve their health, comfort and efficiency at home.

The program, called HomeWise, is designed to make it easy for people employed in Fort Collins to learn about and participate in Utilities efficiency programs, water-saving measures and other conservation programs offered through the City. The City is working with the Vermont Energy Investment Corp. to pilot the project, which will also help employees understand how their energy use, water consumption, and transportation choices compare against others, identify their interests and encourage engagement in City programs.

How it works: Raeker and other City staffers, including employees of Fort Collins Utilities, introduce interested employees – renters and homeowners - to options available to reduce their energy usage. They then assist employees with identifying a plan that leads to specific actions they can take at home, exposure to City programs such as Healthy Homes, which provides free indoor air quality assessments, and specific financing options.

Read more about the program.

Road to 2020 Community Stories: Trinity Lutheran Church

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The sun is shining a bit more brightly on the roof of Trinity Lutheran Church just in time for the holiday season.

While that glare could be divine intervention, it’s more likely the 198-panel, 53.5 kW roof-mounted photovoltaic system installed this fall as part of a longstanding commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.

The project will supply about 70 percent of the church’s power.

“It’s part of our faith to do this,” said Wally Jacobson, a member of the church and the large solar planning team that coordinated the project from start to finish with assistance from the City’s solar rebate program and installation by Namaste’ Solar.

Trinity, at 301 E. Stuart St., has been a City ClimateWise partner since 2005. The photovoltaic system was completed in October – the latest in a string of sustainability upgrades at the church that have included recycling, replacing lights with LEDs, installing high-efficiency furnaces, conserving water, and offering marketing materials on City energy programs and other community resources.

As a non-profit organization, the church was not eligible for federal tax incentives so members formed an LLC to self-fund the $147,500 PV installation. The church held a ‘Solar’bration blessing of its solar project at the November 19-20 worship services.

Watch a brief video about the project.

You Hold the Key, Be Idle Free

On December 6, Mayor Wade Troxell will issue a proclamation announcing the official start of the “You Hold The Key, Be Idle Free” Anti-idling Campaign. Cooler weather makes it tempting to idle vehicles, but idling is actually wasteful and can negatively impact air quality, human health, vehicles, and wallets. Many people idle their cars when picking someone up, waiting behind trains, warming up cars, or running errands. 

There are 5 easy alternatives to idling in these situations, including:

  • Turn off the ignition if waiting more than 30 seconds
  • Turn off the car while the train is passing
  • Turn off the car at school drop-off zones
  • Park and go inside instead of using the drive-thru lane
  • Warm up the engine by driving slowly, not by idling


Planning awards: The City of Fort Collins won two awards at the 2016 American Planning Association’s (APA) Colorado state conference this fall. The City’s West Central Area Plan, adopted in March of 2015, was presented a Colorado Merit Award in the category of General Planning Project and the City’s Climate Action Plan an Honor Award for Sustainability and Environmental Planning. The Honor Award is the highest honor awarded by the chapter.

Housing awards: Through a competitive process this fall, the City of Fort Collins awarded an additional $1.13 million to Housing Catalyst for the Village on Shields rehabilitation of 285 units of affordable housing, and $28,000 to Neighbor to Neighbor for boiler replacement at Crabtree Apartments - 8 units serving households below 30% area of the median income. City Council approved the funding – from City and federal funds – on November 15.

Targeted cluster awards: The City awarded a second round of funding for support of Targeted Industry Clusters this fall through a competitive process. Five organizations received a total of $42,500: the Northern Colorado Manufacturing Partnership, the Northern Colorado Health Sector Partnership, the Poudre Library District, Nexus and the Colorado Clean Energy Cluster.