The board would then review the improvements and forward them on to each individual community’s elected officials for final approval.
“Once everybody’s on the same page, the building or property owner ... they do the project normally, but there’s a special assessment that recoups those costs down the road for them,” Patterson said. “Instead of having cash up front for the project, they basically get to borrow through case financing.”
Both communities were proactive in setting this up by using a “demonstration project” in each to move the district forward, said Liberty Twp.‘s McKinney.
“It’s just another tool in the toolbox, and another tool that developers, property owners can look at, if it makes sense (for them),” McKinney said.
The program can spread energy improvement costs out over 15 to 25 years.
McKinney said the program embodies intergovernmental cooperation as both communities try to make investments in new construction and renovation as easy and economical as possible for area commercial and industrial businesses.
Qualified projects reduce the demand or increase the production of clean, renewable energy and are based on six categories: solar, geothermal, wind, gasification, biomass and energy efficiency improvements.
That may include lighting, roofs, windows, HVAC systems, air sealing, insulation, demand reduction controls, high velocity ceiling fans and similar market-proven technologies.
For information in Monroe, call 513-539-7374, ext. 1023. Those in Liberty should call 513-759-7510.