02/09/11 156 W - + 6 - 2 Stimulus Grants A Success At Local Fire Stations

Press release. A simple idea with strong environmental implications was the focus of today's press conference at Fire Station #6 at 2601 Fairview Road. The City of Raleigh, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources highlighted one of the benefits and success stories from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The focus of the event was the benefits and simplicity of a cistern system installed at nine Raleigh area fire stations and a Wake County EMS Station and the Willow Springs Fire Station. The project, paid for almost entirely with grants from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, installed a system of cisterns to harvest rainwater from the roofs of the stations. The cisterns are capable of collecting more than 4,000 gallons of rainwater at each location. Read entire press release.

I thought the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s purpose was to put Americans back to work? I guess the cistern jobs maybe kept a small business alive even though the installers which were also the owners of the business said they were swamped with business but had to put the other jobs on hold since the cistern contract was paying so much. I guess the city can consider these jobs a success since now the city has new energy-conserving equipment that was paid for by the entire nation. Seems like a scam of the system to me. I know I’d probably go to jail if I came up with a scheme like that.
RescueRanger - 02/09/11 - 21:35

The creation of jobs is just one area that the ARRA grants focus. They also fund improvements in education, building roads, public transportation, criminal justice, health care, environmental improvement and preservation. In this case, the cisterns fall in the latter.
AP - 02/09/11 - 22:38

Stimulus funding is also being used to install 12 solar collectors at four fire stations. From: http://www.raleighnc.gov/home/content/Pu..

“Solar Thermal Water Heating ($150,000) – Funding is for installation of 12 solar collectors at four City of Raleigh fire stations. Use of the solar collectors will reduce energy costs and dependence on fossil fuel for water heating the fire stations’ domestic hot water. It is estimated that more than 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be reduced annually. Sundance Power Systems has tentatively been awarded a contract for the solar collector installation, pending final approval.”

As well as efficient lighting at 12 fire stations…

“Government Buildings Lighting Efficiency Improvements ($500,000) – Fund is for retrofitting interior lighting with more energy efficient lighting at the City’s One Exchange Plaza building (formerly 219 Fayetteville St.) and at 12 City fire stations. Energy savings from the project are estimated at 40 percent. Pinnacle Lighting Contractors has been issued a contract for the One Exchange Plaza lighting and Gaylor Inc. has been awarded the contract for lighting at the fire stations. Design review is currently under way, with retrofitting for both projects scheduled to begin in March. Completion will be in the summer.”
Legeros - 02/10/11 - 06:56

Seems to me that funding solar panels to power entire fire stations would be better use of the money rather than collecting rainwater. It’s better as the systems, if installed and used properly with conservation-minded staff efforts (turning off lights, etc.) end up putting energy back into the grid. Do the systems pay off over time? The jury is still out, to a point. But it’s a far better venture, in my mind, to conserve electricity rather than collect rainwater. Of course, I’m guessing the cisterns are meant to use rainwater to irrigate and perhaps wash apparatus? A good idea, but still a little off the mark. But at least the city recognizes the need and is taking baby steps in the right direction. Just my opinion.
Duda (Email) - 02/10/11 - 10:18

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