ACE (Public Alliance for Community Energy), the community-owned natural gas supplier, presented Project of the Year awards to three of its member communities at the NMPP Energy Annual Conference March 23 in Lincoln, Neb.
Through its revenue return program, ACE returns funds to its 75 Nebraska member communities. These funds are used by each community for various community betterment projects. Earlier this year, ACE returned $200,000 to its Nebraska member communities. Since forming in 1998, ACE has returned more than $3.3 million to its Nebraska member communities.
Communities submitted project nominations and winners were determined through voting on ACE’s Facebook page. The awards were presented in three community population categories. The following projects were awarded a plaque and $200 to be used toward future community betterment projects:
- Village of Lyman Mantis Zip Line Project (pop. under 500) – The Village’s utility staff installed a zip line at its local park to encourage more use of the park and promote family togetherness and outdoor activity. The equipment, which is used by kids of all ages, has attracted more park visitors, including bringing more rural residents to town.
- City of Franklin Fill the Theatre Project (pop. 500-1,500) – The result of this fund-raising project added 200 new seats to Franklin’s local Rosebowl Theatre. The Franklin City Council approved using ACE funds toward purchase of the new seats. Franklin movie goers can now enjoy a comfortable experience in the new seating.
- City of Sidney Youth Baseball Field Lights Project (pop. more than 1,500) – The City used its ACE funds to upgrade its lighting to one of its baseball fields at Legion Park. The existing lights, including wood light poles, became obsolete. ACE funds allowed for the upgrade to galvanized steel poles with pre-cast concrete bases and new HID (High Density Discharge) lighting fixtures. Benefits of the new lighting include reduction of energy and maintenance cost of more than 60 percent, reduction of spill light and glare by 50 percent or more, improved field visibility and the allowance for remote on/off control operations including dimming and scheduling of operation.
Nebraska communities formed ACE for the primary purpose of providing competitively priced natural gas while retaining local control and keeping more revenue in Nebraska’s ACE member communities. The Nebraska Choice Gas program 2020 selection period will run from April 1-21.