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City awarded $1.9M to protect dark skies

Starry, starry nights in Boulder City will soon be easier to see.

The city was awarded nearly $2 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to retrofit all municipal lights with light-pollution-reducing fixtures.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the city announced it received a $1.9 million grant from the EDA to retrofit 2,560 light fixtures, which also will be more energy efficient and help lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“I am beyond happy to see Boulder City has been awarded this grant,” said Councilman James Howard Adams, who formally proposed the project to council. “With it, we will be able to improve the health and safety of our community, while also providing economic benefit to our local businesses.”

The retrofitting project is expected to begin in 2023 and will help the city achieve its goal of obtaining Dark Skies Community Certification from the International Dark Skies Association. The IDA grants certification to towns or cities that it deems have shown “exceptional” dedication to night sky preservation, according to the association’s website.

In June, the city was selected by the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation to be a pilot location in the Dark Skies program.

“I’m thrilled to see Nevada receive federal funding that will help local communities retrofit their lightning in order to allow for better viewing of our world-class night skies,” said Nevada Lt. Gov. Lisa Cano Burkhead. “As chair of the advisory board on outdoor recreation, I’ll take every chance I can to encourage everyone to get outside and explore our beautiful state, and this helps locals and tourists do just that.”

“This project will enhance opportunities for stargazing and night sky-viewing in Boulder City, supporting tourism-related businesses in the area,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo.

The grant will be matched with $617,898 in state and local funds to pay for the installation of the dimmable fixtures and is expected to create 21 new jobs, according to the EDA. The administration estimates that this project will generate $400,000 in private investment.

The grant is funded by the EDA’s Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkCredicoII.

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