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In Dayton, Ohio, residents will see several projects popping up soon that will save them money and help them to conserve energy.

Dayton was awarded an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant for $1.6 million toward five projects that will increase recycling participation, install new cooling units, implement an energy efficiency and conservation strategy, install LED sidewalk light fixtures and install energy-efficiency measures at a new street maintenance building.

The construction of the new maintenance building is expected to be complete by spring 2010, and it will replace five older facilities and consolidate operations, saving the city money. Employees at remaining city garages that won’t be consolidated are going to reduce their energy use to try to stay on pace with the new building’s energy-efficient heating and cooling systems’ energy costs, which will ultimately save the city and taxpayers even more money.

“I certainly think the Recovery funding helps us better position ourselves to move forward with doing additional energy conservation and promoting renewables,” Donna Winchester, environment manager for Dayton, says. “Our aging infrastructure makes it difficult to be progressive. This is a big leap that will help us save energy, money and jobs.”

New projects such as this are much-needed. In 2007, an old maintenance building collapsed, and an office building was deemed unfeasible for repair in 2008. The long-term energy-efficiency savings being implemented with grant money in new city projects give its infrastructure investments an added boost. Additionally, the city estimates 17 jobs could be created. In Donna’s words, “We’re really excited to get started.”