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Woodbury included in list of Minnesota cities eligible to receive federal stimulus dollars

Woodbury was included in a list of two dozen Minnesota cities that are now eligible to receive federal stimulus funding for municipal projects with an emphasis on energy reduction, city of Woodbury officials confirmed Friday.

The announcement was made official, via a Thursday, March 26 press release from the U.S. Department of Energy, which states that the Obama administration plans to "invest $3.2 billion in energy efficiency and conservation projects" across the country.

The state of Minnesota and a number of its counties and municipalities will be eligible for nearly $37.4 in federal block grants, of which the state government will get $10 million.

Woodbury is included among a number of mostly Twin Cities metropolitan area cities that were announced Thursday to be eligible under the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which is funded by the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the press release stated.

Woodbury stands to gain as much a $500,000 in grants for energy saving projects, according to the announced allocations for the program. The city of Maplewood, which is also on the list, could get as much as $163,000. Cities in the western suburbs like Plymouth ($707,000) and Maple Grove ($575,000) are also included in the list.

Washington County is also on the list and stands to receive as much at $693,000.

Before the city of Woodbury receives any stimulus funding it needs to go through an application process for specific projects, said Julie Lehr, the city's communications and environmental education coordinator.

Plans are in the works for a group of city department heads and staff to meet to discuss which municipal projects it has on its radar that may be eligible for the funding, Lehr said.

One of the possible project that is likely to be considered is installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system for the Bielenberg Sports Center. Woodbury City Hall was renovated with a such a heating and cooling system in 2007, and parks staff have brought up the possibility of revamping the BSC with geothermal if such federal funds were to become available.

A look at which cities and counties are eligible to receive federal stimulus funding (including dollar amount) for energy saving projects:

- More to come on this story