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Council, Idaho Fuels for Schools Project

See full version here. The Council School District is surrounded by the Payette National Forest, and had aging, inefficient heating systems in the two local schools within the school campus that needed to be replaced- a diesel oil boiler and radiant electric heating systems. The Council School District, in Council Idaho has installed a biomass heating/cooling system using wood chips from the surrounding Payette National Forest, as well as State and private lands that heat and cool the school buildings. This system was the first Fuels for School system installed in the State of Idaho. The School District received a grant of $510, 000 from the USDA/FS Fuels for Schools program. This was less than 15% of the cost of the project because it was very expensive to completely retrofit the buildings. However, this funding was critical to get the project started. This woody biomass heating/cooling system is improving the working and learning conditions in the schools for staff and students- as they have access to more comfortable buildings- fresh air, even heating, and air conditioning. The School District sought grants and assistance to create a model project to demonstrate what can be done with biomass to save energy and improve forest health as well as air quality (much of the forest is subject to large fires and logging waste is routinely burned in the fall each year). In November of 2004, a long-term bond (15 years) was passed for $2.2M passed and received over 74% of the vote.

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