Sultan wins three awards and a solar panel grant


By Chris Hendrickson, Monitor
The city of Sultan received a check for $48,502 from the Snohomish County Public Utility District on Thursday night. The money, which will be used to fund the installation of solar panels on the roof of City Hall, was received from a PUD grant program called Planet Power, which promotes renewable energy.
"This is an easy way for many customers to support the growth and use of local solar energy,GÇ¥ said Leslie Moynihan, the PUD's Planet Power program manager, in a press release. "And everyone benefits as the entire community can learn more about this energy source.GÇ¥
PUD Commissioner Toni Olson joined Moynihan to present city council with the check.
The money will pay for a 10.8 kW solar array that will be installed on the roof of City Hall, along with an informational kiosk located in the lobby just outside of the library. The kiosk will display the status of the system's energy production.
As a part of the project, books and other reference material about renewable energy will be added to the library's resources.
Planet Power is a program that offers the opportunity for PUD customers to voluntarily support small-scale renewable energy projects in Snohomish County. Any PUD customer can contribute to Planet Power when they pay their electric bill. There are four solar energy projects being funded this year as a result of the program.
"We're pleased to see more and more interest in solar energy among our customers. Historically, the bulk of the PUD's energy needs has come from clean, renewable hydroelectric power which uses no fossil fuels. We're also tapping other renewable sources, including wind, biomass and biogas. The PUD leads the region in the research of tidal and geothermal energy,GÇ¥ said Neil Neroutsos, PUD spokesperson.
The Planet Power grant application process was managed by Donna Murphy, Sultan's Grants and Economic Development Coordinator.
"We are so pleased to receive the solar grant from PUD.-áIt's just an example of the great work that Donna Murphy and-áthe city of Sultan staff accomplish,GÇ¥ said Mayor Carolyn Eslick.
The Washington State Department of Ecology has presented Sultan with the 2012 Wastewater Treatment Outstanding Performance award.
Every year the department recognizes specific wastewater treatment plants across Washington for achieving exceptional levels of compliance with state requirements. The wastewater plants are evaluated through analysis of the individual treatment plant's reports and tests, as well as onsite inspections.
Spill prevention planning, compliance with monitoring and reporting requirements, pretreatment standards and the levels of compliance to the permits that limit the contaminants that plants may discharge are all carefully assessed.
Out of approximately 300 wastewater treatment plants examined, Sultan's is one of 107 that managed to achieve full compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
"It takes diligent operators and a strong management team, working effectively together, to achieve this high level of compliance,GÇ¥ stated Kelly Susewind, the DOE's Water Quality Program Manager, in a letter announcing the award.
"Your excellent record proves that dedicated operators run the award winning Sultan Wastewater Treatment Plant and their combined efforts lead to outstanding compliance,GÇ¥ wrote Susewind.
The Washington Finance Officers Association has awarded the city of Sultan the Distinguished Budget Award for the city's 2013 budget.
In a letter from the WFOA, Distinguished Budget Award Chair Teresa Camfield, wrote that the award is currently "the highest form of recognition in fiscal planning and budgeting within the state of Washington.GÇ¥
The budget documents are examined and judged based on program criteria which cover operations, financial planning, communications and policies. Documents are reviewed by two analysts who then rate the document based on whether it meets or exceeds a specific proficiency level.
Sultan's 2013 budget met all the criteria for the award, and they will receive a plaque and certificate to commemorate the honor.
The WFOA is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in governmental finance. Their intent is to benefit the public through education, leadership and communication.
Sultan is also one of the 2013 winners of the Governor's Smart Communities Awards, For Outstanding Achievement in Creating Livable and Vibrant Communities.
The award, granted by the Washington State Department of Commerce, recognizes municipalities that are successfully achieving the goals of the Growth Management Act and are working to economically enhance and promote quality communities.
Sultan received the Judges' Merit Award for their 2011 Comprehensive Plan. The Judges' Merit Award is one of four categories of Smart Communities Awards.
Sultan is one of only eight cities to be recognized in 2013. The Governor's awards have been given annually since 2006.


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