The Boulder County jail does a lot of laundry.
If it’s not uniforms, it’s bed sheets or underwear, meaning that the industrial-sized washers and dryers are often running 16 hours a day, greedily sucking electricity off the grid.
About 500 people live at the jail, so when you add the laundry to a flood of hot showers and countless burning light bulbs, the facility racks up a pretty hefty utility bill: $250,000 a year.
The Boulder County commissioners want to slash that bill, and if voters give them the thumbs-up at the ballot box in November, they say they can cut the amount of money spent on jail utilities in half.
This November, the county commissioners are asking voters for permission to make major energy-efficiency upgrades to the jail with the ultimate goal of cutting its $250,000 annual utility bill in half. Boulder County Ballot Issue 1C would allow the county to take advantage of new federally backed, zero-interest loans to make $6.1 million worth of improvements to county buildings, including the jail, the justice center and the sheriff’s headquarters.
The new loan program is part of the federal stimulus bill, and the money must be used for public buildings. Read more