04.02.09

Vermont National Guard Nets $3.5 M. From Stimulus Package For Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Leahy Says Funds Are ‘A Three-Fer’ For Vermont -- Local Jobs, Better Facilities, Budget Leeway For Other Guard Projects

(THURSDAY, April 2) -- The Vermont National Guard will receive $3.5 million in federal stimulus funds to renovate its buildings, which Senator Patrick Leahy says will benefit Vermont and the Guard three ways.

"This is a three-fer for Vermont," Leahy said.  "This work will create local jobs, offer our Guard better facilities, and give us greater budget leeway for other Guard projects down the road."

He said the funds will be used primarily for heating and ventilation upgrades that reduce energy consumption and modernize utilities.  The eventual savings in energy efficiency also will free up resources for ongoing Guard tasks like training and operations.

Vermont Guard officials tell Leahy that the projects will be ready to go as soon as the Guard formally receives the funding, which comes from the operations and maintenance portion of the defense budget for prompt disbursal through contract bidding.  Leahy said the Vermont National Guard will contract with local heating and energy firms to carry out the work, directly boosting the local economy.

Leahy is a senior member of the Senate’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which wrote these military facilities renovation portions of the stimulus plan.  Leahy is also co-chair of the Senate’s National Guard Caucus, with Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.).  Leahy and Bond led efforts to convince the Appropriations Committee to set aside funds in the stimulus package for National Guard military construction and facilities renovation projects.

“Modern facilities contribute to the Guard’s preparedness for missions at home and abroad, and energy efficiency conserves fuel and helps each Guard’s budget dollar go farther,” Leahy said. 

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