- Municipalities may enter into voluntary contracts with homeowners and farm owners for loans to pay for the purchase and installation of specified environmental improvements.
- The specified improvements can be, but are not limited to: 1) solar panels, 2) geothermal systems, 3) home insulation including insulating doors and windows, 4) tankless water heaters, 5) replacement of wood stoves and hydronic heaters with EPA-certified devices, 6) replacement of failing septic systems, 7) installation of permeable pavement, 8) Animal Waste Management Systems, 9) Animal Feeding Operations, 10) stream buffers, 11) rain gardens, 12) green roofs, and, 13) structures for stream crossings.
- The purchase and installation of the environmental improvements will be the responsibility of the homeowner or farm owner.
- The municipality will lend the homeowner or farm owner the cost of the purchase and installation of the environmental improvements. The municipality can use other funding (Supplemental Environmental Programs or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to pay for the interim loans.
- The municipality will fund these loans through the issuance of general obligation bonds, called “Voluntary Environmental Improvement Bonds” (VEIB).
- The municipality will assess each homeowner or farm owner annually for the payments of their respective improvements. The assessment shall constitute a lien on their property.
- The assessments will be paid as part of the property owners’ real property taxes to the municipality.
- The term of the loans shall be the lesser of the service life of the improvement or 40 years.
- The state may need to pass legislation to allow local governments to implement Voluntary Environmental Improvement Programs.
For more information, contact Amanda Aldridge, email@example.com.