Environmentalists are celebrating that Gov. Susana Martinez authorized $182,000 in capital outlay funds to help finance solar energy improvements on fire stations in Santa Fe County.
Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy, says the nonprofit hopes the funds will help cover solar projects for a number of the county's fire stations, but that it won't cover all 13 stations.
In July, the Tesuque fire station completed a solar installation project. New Energy Economy says the station's utility bills dropped to $8.65 a month from more than $115 before officials installed the panels.
The nonprofit helped fund that solar panel seed project in partnership with Santa Fe County, which picked up some of the tab. New Energy Economy also partnered with the City of Santa Fe to install solar panels at a fire station on Cerrillos Road. Nanasi says the nonprofit is not planning on fundraising for the new solar installations and that the county has discussed matching state funds.
Martinez signed the capital outlay bill on Tuesday, also approving a $50,000 expenditure for equipment, furniture and infrastructure for the new First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe. But the governor vetoed a request for a $25,000 expenditure to purchase and install outdoor public seating at the courthouse.
In the 2012 session, the courthouse disputed the governor's veto of a $1.3 million request to furnish and equip the new building, sparking dispute between the the courts, the county and the governor's office.
Click here for the final version of the bill.