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March 23, 2010

For a tighter seal

Walton receives $172,115 grant to improve energy efficiency

WALTON — Officials in Walton will soon see a drop in utility bills at the town hall, library, volunteer fire department and sewage treatment plant.

Through a $172,115 grant recently awarded by the Indiana Office of Energy Development, the town of Walton will have funds to retrofit buildings with new windows, doors and lighting to make them more energy efficient.

Gordon Southern, director of the Walton & Tipton Township Public Library, intends on installing double-pane storm windows over the historic windows in the original portion of the 1915 building. He called the current coverings “light and flimsy” and said they had been in use 25 years.

The library’s natural gas bill averaged about $500 a month this winter. The new storm windows would not save the library a tremendous amount of money — taking about 28 years to see a full return — but as Southern said, “Anything we can do to seal that tighter will be better.”

A full return on the other projects funded by the energy efficiency grant in Walton will take as little as eight years, Southern added.

If there is enough money, Southern would also like to redesign the front entrance so when people enter or exit, cold or hot air does not blast in from outside.

Walton was among 37 Hoosier cities, towns and counties to receive 46 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grants for energy efficiency upgrades to public facilities. A total of $3.35 million is being provided for LED traffic light conversion, building lighting upgrades and non-lighting building retrofits.

The grant program is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy and administered in Indiana by the Indiana Office of Energy Development. Cities and towns with less than 35,000 in population, and counties with populations of 200,000 or less were eligible to apply for these grants. The communities were selected for the grants through a competitive bid process.

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