Sunday, July 19, 2009

State Grant Program To Help Those In The Military!

It has been announced that a bill has been signed to increase the eligibility for assistance for armed forces members who are not currently on active duty.

This means that there will be increased funding for those in the military who are currently off duty and who are eligible to apply for this grant funding program.

The program provides money to help pay for essential personal or household needs!

Area Grant Money Goes Un-Used!

Over $300,000 is provided yearly to help business get both inside and outside building assistance! Property owners can use this money, as can businesses with five-year (or longer) leases. The amount of money available differs from building to building.

According to the director of this program, her frustration lies in the fact that she says she offers plenty of help for business owners downtown, but very few of them take advantage of it. For example one business was eligible for over $75,000 in financial assistance but only took $11,000! Another business, a surplus store, used the money for exterior restoration. In 2002, the windows were replaced on the second floor, and half of that was paid with a $9,750 city grant!

  • A furniture store has taken a significant amount of city assistance -- over $93,000, for interior and exterior work.

  • A restaurant has used more than $73,000 in grants for interior and exterior rehab. The restaurant remodeled in 2005, with a nearly $40,000 city grant to help.

There is still over $100,000 left 2009!

If the applicant can't get their application in before the due date then those applications are rolled over to the following year.

Since the local area has a responsibility to keep the buildings up to code, that just gives them more of an incentive to provide money, grants and financial assistance for rehabilitation purposes. As a matter of fact if a business wants more money they are welcomed to submit drafts of development agreements as well! (as did one business developer!)

Homes And Businesses

Receive Grant Money

To Use

Alternative Energy Sources!

To help decrease their energy bills, places are using an alternative source of energy - wind turbines!

  • One property owner uses a 5-kilowatt wind turbine which stands about 125 feet from his house. Since Jan. 1, he watched his electric meter go backward. He said the turbine generates more electricity than he uses, meaning he'll get a check from his utility company at the end of the year.

Higher electric rates, available grant money and a push for alternative energy from the state and federal governments have the winds of change blowing the turbines' direction. It's not just for large-scale wind farms but it is also an opportunity for individual landowners.

According to one state's law, 25% of the electricity sold by that state's investor-owned utilities must come from alternative energy sources by 2025. Of that, 12.5 percent must come from renewable sources, such as solar, biomass fuel and wind.

This is where the grant program comes along!

Both residences and small farms are eligible for a $25,000 grant if one of the state's four largest investor-owned utilities serves them. Businesses could receive incentives up to $150,000 for smaller turbines.

Then the federal government enacted a tax credit, where owners of small wind farms with 100 kilowatts of capacity and less could receive a credit for 30 percent of the total installed cost of a system.

The electric companies in the region allow people with wind turbines to connect their systems into their grids. One, buys back any extra power generated by a turbine and not used by the landowner for between 3½ and 4 cents per kilowatt hour.

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