Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Morris County has received the first $250,000 of a $4.2 million federal block grant from the Department of Energy.

Morris is one of only 19 county and local governments in the country to receive the funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and conservation measures. Eventually, similar grants will be awarded by the DOE to more than 2,300 cities, counties, states and Indian tribes nationwide.

The first installment of the grant will be used by Morris County to support the development of a long-term energy efficiency and conservation strategy, according to Stephen W. Hammond, director of the Morris County Department of Public Works and the county engineer.

The plan will detail how the county intends to spend the money on projects and programs that, among other things, prioritize energy savings, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create or retain jobs, Hammond said.

The remainder of the funds will be released once the county government submits its plan to the DOE. Those funds will then be used by the county to help it implement the energy-saving strategies.