Governor Jared Polis, State Lawmakers Announce More than $35 Million in Infrastructure Funding Awarded to Colorado

Thursday, October 26, 2023

DENVER — Governor Polis, House Speaker Julie McCluskie, Rep. Leslie Herod, Senator Chris Hansen, and Senator Rachel Zenzinger announced that local governments and state agencies have recently secured more than $35 million in funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), furthering the state’s commitment to key infrastructure and environmental priorities. 

“I am thrilled to see these major investments coming into Colorado. These funds will enable us to expand access to green spaces and drive clean energy innovation in rural areas. Together, we’re building a path toward a stronger and more sustainable Colorado for current and future generations,” said Governor Jared Polis.

The state is working to maximize IIJA investments in Colorado by supporting local governments in identifying and applying for funds. The Regional Grant Navigator Program is an initiative funded by SB22-215, sponsored by Senators Hansen and Zenzinger and Representatives Herod and McCluskie. By providing financial support and professional resources, the State of Colorado is able to increase capacity for local governments. This program is also supported by the Offices of Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper. 

“All across the Western Slope and in communities throughout Colorado, over $35 million in grant money will create, boost and expand rural clean energy projects, energy efficiency programs, recycling infrastructure improvements, and access to green space. I'm proud that we allocated funding for the Regional Grant Navigator Program in the 2022 legislative session to help local communities secure federal infrastructure funding. These new grants will create jobs, advance projects that save Coloradans money, and help us meet our climate goals,” said Speaker Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon.

“Securing tens of millions of dollars in grant money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a major win for Colorado communities, including the City of Denver, which will receive a $5 million award for the Office of Climate Action Sustainability and Resiliency. Lower-income Coloradans and people of color are more likely to live in nature-deprived neighborhoods. These funds will help improve access to green spaces and the benefits they provide for all Denverites and make access to nature more equitable in our city,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver.

“This funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is an amazing opportunity for local governments to advance clean energy initiatives. Thanks to the help of the Regional Grant Navigator Program, Colorado communities will have the tools they need to see their proposed infrastructure projects become reality. The new funding will provide communities from Glenwood Springs to Greeley with resources to ensure clean energy programs remain affordable for all Coloradans, increase access to green space, and improve recycling programs,” said Senator Chris Hansen, D-Denver.

“Last year we passed legislation to create the Regional Grant Navigator Program, which connected local governments with resources to identify grant opportunities and secure federal funding for infrastructure projects. With its success, the $35 million in federal funding that’s now coming to Colorado is a win-win for local governments who are revitalizing communities with infrastructure updates while boosting their economies through job creation,” said Senator Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada.

During the Summer of 2023, 10 Regional Infrastructure Development Summits were held across the state of Colorado to provide information, training, and contacts for local governments and partners. Topics covered included accessing funding, environmental impacts, and panel discussions with Local, State, and Federal Representatives about steps to determine a jurisdiction’s readiness to apply and best practices for grant writing.

“As a small, rural community, Chaffee County is grateful to have resources such as the UAACOG Regional Grant Navigator Program and Regional Infrastructure Summits to support our work. We look forward to working with our Regional Grant Navigator even more closely for support as we implement the recently awarded EPA SWIFR grant funding for construction of a local transfer station and materials recovery facility here, which will be transformational for our region’s approach to recycling and solid waste management,” Beth Helmke, Deputy Director of Administration for Chaffee County.

Details on the funding below:

Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program:

The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling program provides grants to implement the National Recycling Strategy to improve post-consumer materials management and infrastructure; support improvements to local post-consumer materials management and recycling programs; and assist local waste management authorities in making improvements to local waste management systems. 

  • Chaffee County - $3,995,000 

  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - $450,000 

Urban and Community Forestry Competitive Grants:

The Forest Service is working to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces, and the many benefits they provide.

  • City of Aurora, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Open Space - $5,000,000 

  • City of Colorado Springs - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services - $9,000,000

  • City of Denver, Office of Climate Action Sustainability and Resiliency - $5,000,000

  • City of Glenwood Springs* - $600,000

  • City of Greeley* - $689,134

  • City of Monte Vista* - $1,000,000

  • City of Westminster* - $230,000

  • City of Wheat Ridge* - $669,073


*Partner marked with a * is an award included in $121,784,380 in grants that will be managed in collaboration with national pass-through partners

Urban and Community Forestry Formula Funding:

This formula funding allows state and territory forestry agencies that are working in disadvantaged communities to increase and maintain a healthy urban canopy and access to nature. This will be used to grant funds to "fill in the gaps" for communities that didn't receive competitive funds or didn't even apply initially. 

  • State of Colorado - $4,875,000

Energizing Rural Communities Prize:

This prize supports innovative partnership and finance plans to help rural or remote communities develop clean energy demonstration projects.

  • Garfield Clean Energy Collaborative, Parachute - $100,000

  • Farmers Conservation Energy and Resiliency Team, Towaoc - $100,000

  • Regional Climate Solutions Team, Basalt - $100,000

  • Silverton GOLD Team, Silverton - $100,000

  • Sustainable Grand County, Granby - $100,000

Building Codes Implementation for Efficiency and Resilience Program:

This program helps enable sustained, cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes to save customers money on their energy bills.

  • City of Fort Collins - $700,000

  • Colorado Energy Office - $5,000,000