Louisville Metro Government closed on two agreements through its Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) program that will provide more than $2 million in private loan funds for energy efficiency projects at Tennis Club at Springhurst and a new La Quinta Del Sol hotel.
“The science behind global climate change is indisputable, and in order to make a difference, individuals, organizations, business and government must all take action to reduce emissions and shift to more renewable energy sources,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Offerings like the EPAD Program help property owners invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades to benefit our environment.”
The EPAD Program (known nationally as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or “PACE”) is a financing mechanism that helps property owners repay loans for energy efficient, renewable energy and water conservation projects with no down payment. All the capital comes from private sources.
Unlike a traditional loan however, loans through the EPAD program are affixed to the property title, rather than the property owner, and are repaid through a voluntary annual assessment administered by the Jefferson County Sheriff. Applicants also can receive loans that cover up to 100% of the project’s hard and soft costs.
Company Sachi LLC received a 25-year, $1.7 million loan from PACE Equity to install a high-performance building envelope, a high-efficiency HVAC system, 52 solar panels, and 20 windmills at a 94-room La Quinta Del Sol currently under construction near Old Henry Road.
Dr. Sunny Dronawat, managing member of Sachi LLC, said investing in renewable energy makes good business sense. “Consumers feel good when they spend their money on goods and services that incorporate sustainability, green energy elements and energy conservation elements into their business practices. The Millennial generation is spending money on hotels that incorporate green elements.”
Installations began in April 2018 and are estimated to be completed by Summer 2020. A Utility Impact Analysis completed by PACE Equity estimated total projected energy savings of more than 420,000 kWh annually – enough energy to power 50 houses for one year or take 63 passenger vehicles off the road.
“Working with Sunny on the La Quinta Del Sol in Louisville is a shining example of utilizing PACE financing. It allowed the hotel to incorporate substantial energy efficiency and renewables but also a low-cost funding mechanism to pay for those items. PACE Equity continues to be the leader in utilizing Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for new construction,” said Ethan Elser, executive vice president of PACE Equity.
The La Quinta Del Sol and Tennis Club at Springhurst are the third and fourth projects funded through Louisville Metro’s EPAD program.
Tennis Club at Springhurst received a $400,000 loan from Lever Energy Capital to upgrade its existing lighting system with state-of-the-art LED technology and install a new HVAC system. The loan will be repaid over 15 years.
“The EPAD Program has allowed us to easily finance a much better system than we could afford through general cash flow. And the financing process is so easy and straightforward. We loved the process and love the product,” said Chris Mather, owner of the Tennis Club at Springhurst and Louisville Sports Academy.
Learn more about the EPAD program at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/epad-program.
In addition to the EPAD Program, Louisville Metro Government, through its Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability, offers incentives to property and business owners to invest in measures via its Cool Roof Rebate Program to combat the Urban Heat Island effect and reducing cooling costs.
The Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability released a draft Emissions Reduction Plan in late 2019 and will finalize that plan in February 2020. Learn more about the Emissions Reduction Plan here: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/greenhouse-gas-inventory
In 2020, Louisville Metro Government will continue to electrify its vehicle fleet, will replace 25,000-square-feet of roofs on Metro-owned buildings with cool roof technology, will explore an environmental purchasing policy, and will release a climate adaptation plan with actionable items for Louisville Metro and other partners. The city also is in regular conversation with LG&E regarding more renewable energy options for Louisville Metro operations
For more information about the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability and its efforts, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/aps.
One of Louisville’s signature parks is adding a new feature certain to draw more visitors to the area and enhance the opportunity for recreational enjoyment of the Ohio River.
A public boat ramp and accompanying parking area planned for Shawnee Park will provide boaters with convenient river access below McAlpine Locks and Dam and the renowned Falls of the Ohio.
On Friday, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Rich Storm joined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and other city officials in breaking ground near the park’s Louisville Loop trailhead for the joint project between Louisville Parks and Recreation and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
“This project shows the power of strong partnerships,” Storm said. “Expanding access to the river is a win for the community and all anglers, boaters and hunters of the Commonwealth.”
River-based recreation is important for many in Louisville, Jefferson County and the surrounding areas. That mirrors the interest in outdoor recreation across the state.
Each year, more than 2 million people fish, hunt, boat, or participate in other wildlife-related recreation in Kentucky.
“Fishing, hunting and boating are vital to Kentucky’s adventure tourism industry,” Berry said. “Together with wildlife watching, they contribute more than $5.9 billion to Kentucky’s economy.”
The project is a key infrastructure investment supporting the West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative to improve equitable access to nature in the community.
Last year, the city’s ECHO (Engaging Children Outdoors) program unveiled a new bicycle track near the planned boat ramp, and future plans include a modern outdoor education center to be nearby.
The Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) recently installed an underground water basin in Shawnee Park and has made several million dollars worth of improvements there. Those include new basketball courts at the site of the historic Dirt Bowl, new baseball fields, a new restroom and shelter, a new sprayground and updated walking path and a newly paved road through the park.
“The new boat ramp in Shawnee Park will provide a highly-sought-after recreational amenity in this historic Olmsted Park,” Mayor Fischer said. “I look forward to seeing it used by anglers, canoers and those looking to simply get out on the water and have some fun. Our dive and rescue teams from the Louisville Fire and Louisville Metro Police departments also believe it will greatly enhance public safety with better access to the Ohio River. I want to thank Kentucky Fish and Wildlife for their partnership on this important project.”
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife maintains more than 160 ramps statewide and its crews will build the two-lane concrete ramp at Shawnee Park. It also plans to create an area adjacent to the ramp for bank fishing access.
For its portion of the project, the department is using Sport Fish Restoration Program grant funds, which are derived from dedicated federal excise taxes on equipment used for fishing, and recreational boat motor fuels.
Louisville Parks and Recreation has contracted with private firms on the design and construction of an access road and parking area large enough to accommodate more than two dozen vehicles and boat trailers.
Construction could be finished this fall, barring inclement weather or other conditions that could potentially delay the project’s completion.
Designed by landscape architect and conservationist Frederick Law Olmsted, Shawnee Park sits along the Ohio River in Louisville’s west end just minutes from Interstate 264.
The new Shawnee Park ramp will provide a second Jefferson County location for boaters to enjoy the Cannelton Pool of the Ohio River, and it will be the closest Kentucky ramp downstream of McAlpine Locks and Dam and the Falls of the Ohio.
“The Ohio River is a tremendous resource for recreational boaters, and the Falls of the Ohio area offers some of the best fishing in the state,” Storm said. “Beyond improving recreational access, this ramp also will help our conservation officers’ efforts on the water and ongoing efforts to fight the spread of Asian carp. The Falls of the Ohio is a moderate barrier to these invasive fish, and the Cannelton Pool is the farthest pool upriver where we are seeing Asian carp in large numbers. We continue to work with our counterparts in Indiana to facilitate commercial removal of Asian carp in this area, and the Shawnee Park ramp will provide another access point to help make that happen.”
Louisville Parks Foundation is currently gathering community input with its annual survey. From now through Monday, January 27 people are encouraged to take the 3-minute survey to help prioritize fundraising efforts and help guide organizational decision-making.
Information provided will inform funding and project focus for the coming years. Those who participate will also be entered into a drawing for a Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular Prize Package, including 4 tickets and various event merchandise.
“Getting feedback and opinions from the public is very important to our organization,” said Brooke Pardue, CEO of the Louisville Parks Foundation. “We use this data each year during our budgeting and strategic planning process. It is critical for us to hear from a geographically, racially, and economically diverse population about what they want to see in our public parks, so we work very hard to disseminate the survey widely.”
The Louisville Parks Foundation Community Survey can be found on the website at, https://www.lpfky.org/get-involved.
Louisville Metro Government is moving forward with plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change. The city also will provide a progress report on the goals set out in the city’s first sustainability plan, Sustain Louisville, later this month.
On Nov. 1, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the release of a draft of the Emissions Reduction Plan at the annual Louisville Sustainability Summit. The plan, part of a commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors, serves as a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Louisville Metro’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability, which helped guide the Emissions Reduction Plan, also is developing a climate adaptation plan, Prepare Louisville, to address existing and anticipated effects of climate change. Input on both will be critical to determining the best approach to tackling climate change now and in the years ahead.
“Despite national action to abandon the Paris climate accord, Louisville is listening to our residents, especially our young people who spoke out during the Climate Strike, and are stepping up to keep fighting climate change,” said the Mayor. “The release of the Emissions Reduction Plan and formulation of a climate adaptation plan takes us to the next stage as a community – to an urgent and critical conversation about how we move forward to achieve the necessary greenhouse gas reductions and how we work together to address the current and future impacts of climate change.”
The strategies included in the Emissions Reduction Plan were derived from best industry practices and reflect our best understanding of where current trends will take us in the years ahead. It is intended to be flexible in nature as new technologies and regulatory changes drive change in our community.
Louisville Metro recognizes that since the plan’s 80% emissions reduction target was set, recent scientific reports have expressed the need for more urgent and accelerated action to avoid irreversible impacts of climate change. In response, the city will continue pursuing actions that will propel Louisville beyond the 80% reduction target laid out in the plan.
Residents can submit their feedback on the Emissions Reduction Plan now through Saturday, Nov. 30 at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/greenhouse-gas-inventory .
Residents also are asked to help shape Prepare Louisville, the climate adaptation plan, by sharing their experiences, concerns, and ideas via a short online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/preparelouisville . The deadline to complete the survey has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Lastly, the Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability will be releasing a progress report on Wednesday, Nov. 13, updating the goals and initiatives set forth in Sustain Louisville. The report will describe the strides made and highlight the key successes toward these goals, as well as identifying areas for improvement.
For more information about Sustain Louisville, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/sustain-louisville
Joined by more than 250 members of the Louisville Metro Snow Team, Mayor Greg Fischer today declared that the city is battle ready for the 2019-20 snow season. After the announcement, the Snow Team worked through a mock snow event that included driving all road treatment routes.
“I’m honored to stand along with our Snow Team to declare Louisville is ready to tackle significant winter weather,” said the Mayor. “This team will jump into action any hour, any day, to make it safe for the rest of us to get where we need to go when it snows.”
Mayor Fischer also named dozens of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) students as honorary members of the Snow Team.
The students – from Eisenhower, Gutermuth, Jacob, Layne, Sanders and Wilkerson elementary schools – decorated six snowplows to be used in the upcoming winter season. Some of the plows will be part of the Lots of Lights Parade during the Light Up Louisville celebration on Friday, Nov. 29. The plows were displayed during today’s event in the Cardinal Stadium parking lot.
JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said, “We appreciate the diligence and hard work of the Louisville Metro Snow Team in keeping roads safe and passable every winter. We depend on that commitment to ensure students and employees can get to and from school in inclement weather, limiting the number of days that students are away from the classroom.
“I’m also proud of our students who used their artistic talents to show their appreciation in their own way — Louisville’s streets will be both safer and more beautiful this year when the Snow Team is activated.”
The Snow Team is led by Metro Public Works under the leadership of Director Vanessa Burns and Assistant Director for Roads and Operations, Brian Funk. The Public Works Solid Waste Management Division, Metro Parks, the Department of Codes & Regulations, and the Division of Fleet and Facilities are also part of the team.
The Louisville Fire Department also is preparing to help residents combat winter fires and indoor home safety.
“It’s important for the community to play a key role in keeping their home, families and neighbors safe,” said Major Bobby Cooper, Louisville Fire Department. “Simple safety precautions like maintaining home heating equipment, using space heaters and generators with caution, and replacing batteries in smoke alarms can help ensure a warm and safe winter.”
While the Louisville Metro Snow Team is focused on keeping things moving safely on the ground, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport has a team that’s focused on making sure people can get in and out of the city through the air.
“The dedicated snow teams for both Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport and Bowman Field are prepared and ready to respond anytime inclement weather is in the area,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “As SDF remains strong as the seventh busiest cargo airport in the world with more than 300 daily flights from our cargo partners, plus 80 flights from the passenger airlines, we play an essential role in connecting people and goods around the globe. It’s crucial that our airfield is operational and ready for use 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Just as Louisville Metro takes great care of the city, we remain focused on ensuring the airport is ready for business at all hours of the day.”
Louisville will begin the snow season this year with 38,500 tons of salt on hand. Most of the salt will be stored underground in Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave. About 15,550 tons are distributed to four above ground locations where the salt will be loaded onto spreading vehicles as needed. Total salt used in the 2018-19 snow season was 10,505 tons.
The city will also continue to pretreat roads with brine ahead of snowfalls. Brine is a saltwater solution that reduces the adherence of snow and ice to pavement and reduces slick spots.
The city’s snow removal progress can be followed via an interactive online map. During snow events, a snow map will be posted on the city website, www.Louisvilleky.gov, and the Department of Public Works site at www.louisvilleky.gov/publicworks. The latest updates will also be posted on Twitter at LouPubWorks.
Mayor Greg Fischer and the Veterans Community Alliance of Louisville today announced the sixth annual Mayor’s Week of Valor — a series of events to honor and celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of active-duty military, veterans and their families.
Coinciding with Veterans Day, the 2019 Week of Valor will feature 27 educational, patriotic, community or civic events from Nov. 2 through Nov. 13. Residents are encouraged to participate and recognize, support and honor veterans.
Events include a 22 Push-Up Challenge on Nov. 2, a Women Veterans Town Hall on Nov. 7, and a Veterans Wellness Expo + Run/Walk on Nov. 9.
Also on Monday, Nov. 11, the city’s Veterans Day Parade will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in downtown Louisville this year on Jefferson Street, between Fourth and Seventh streets. The parade welcomes all military personnel and veterans, either in groups or as individuals, to participate. (There is no cost to enter; participants are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502-552-1131.)
“Our freedoms are here for us because of the service and sacrifice of our veterans,” Fischer said. “We’re asking residents from across the community to come out and show support during the Week of Valor to honor the people who’ve helped keep our country free.”
A full schedule of events is attached or can be found at http://louisvilleky.gov/weekofvalor.
Louisville Metro’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability, the Louisville Sustainability Council, and the Louisville Zoo will co-host the sixth annual Sustainability Summit on Friday, Nov. 1.
“For all of us, as individuals, as organizations, as a community and a nation, reversing climate change has to be a factor in our decisions every single day,” said Mayor Greg Fischer, who declared a climate emergency during a local Global Climate Strike event in September. “Please join the 2019 Sustainability Summit to work with community leaders and stakeholders on ways we can take on climate change with a sense of urgency, purpose, and focus.”
The Summit will feature keynote speaker Dr. Robert Brinkmann, the vice provost for scholarship and research and director of sustainability studies at Hofstra University, as well as a panel of local leaders on tackling greenhouse gas emissions in Louisville.
“The summit is our annual opportunity to gather together under one roof as concerned individuals, nonprofit organizations, school groups, faith-based groups and sustainability professionals from the public and private sectors,” said Alicia Hullinger, Board Chair of the Louisville Sustainability Council. “It is a day for celebration, collaboration, and exploration that cannot be missed if you are concerned about creating a local climate action in Louisville.”
The keynote speaker, Dr. Brinkmann, is the author of several books and articles, including Introduction to Sustainability, the first major textbook on the topic. His new book, Environmental Sustainability in a Time of Change, will be published early next year. During his speech, he will present seven ways to advance your sustainability agenda in a time of change.
The Summit will also feature a panel of local leaders from Louisville Metro Government, TreesLouisville, Harshaw-Trane, and the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Programiscussing how their organizations are working to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Youth activism and performance group The Mighty Shades of Ebony also will debut their new song on climate change, titled “Anthropogenic.”
The Sustainability Summit is proud to receive support from Patron Sponsor Yum! Brands; Champion Sponsors Genentech, TARC, Humana, and PNC Bank; Summit Friend Sponsor CMTA; and Supporting Sponsors Harshaw Trane, K. Norman Berry Associates, Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District, the Partnership for a Green City, WestRock, and Stantec.
The summit will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at the Louisville Zoo. Tickets are available to Louisville Sustainability Council members for $45, to the general public for $60, and to college students with an ID for $30.
More information and registration can be found on the Louisville Sustainability Council website: http://louisvillesustainabilitycouncil.org/2019-sustainability-summit.