CMU seeks $1 million grant from Garfield County

Colorado Mesa University trustees are requesting $1 million from the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District.

The lease district is an independent public body that manages federal mineral lease payments filtered through the state’s Department of Local Affairs and paid to municipalities, counties and districts affected by exploration for natural gas, coal and other minerals on federal land.

The district formed in June 2011 and has $1.6 million to distribute in its first-ever grant cycle for capital projects, according to Gregg Rippey, president of the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District.

Rippey said Colorado Mesa turned in its application for a grant from the district on Friday. The deadline for grant applications was 5 p.m. Friday. Rippey said he believes between 12 and 17 public entities from around the region, which are the only groups allowed to apply for the grants, have submitted applications.

A three-member district board will choose who gets a grant and how much money will go to applicants based on a scoring matrix based on what money is available, how well the project an entity wants to use grant dollars to complete matches the district’s mission, and how well the board determines the entity can execute the project, Rippey said. Colorado Mesa is applying for $1 million to expand its geothermal heating and cooling exchange system, which currently is used in seven buildings on the south side of campus.

Trustees voted 8-0 at their last meeting of the 2011-12 school year May 21 to approve a resolution that requests funding from the district and states the university has matching funds available if the grant comes through. CMU President Tim Foster said the university applied for $1 million because that is the maximum amount any entity can ask for in the district grant program.

Grant awards will be announced June 29. The district has two grant cycles per year and will announce the next batch of awards in October.


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