Fort Scott tops Take Charge Challenge: Brings home $100,000

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fort Scott took the lead in the middle of August in the Take Charge Challenge and never looked back as the community was announced as the winners of a $100,000 grant in the Southeast division Tuesday during an announcement ceremony in Topeka.

Under the direction of the Youth Activities Team, Fort Scott beat Chanute, Iola, Pittsburg and Parsons in the region to bring home the $100,000 grant to be used for energy efficiency projects in the community.

YAT Co-convenor Clayton Tatro was one of the 11 Fort Scott residents in attendance for the announcement. He said that the money is going to be used to install energy efficient lighting at Frary Field, the Fort Scott High School and Buck Run gymnasiums, and some of the local baseball fields.

"We have not yet prioritized which projects are going to come first, but that's the idea," he said.

Tatro said that the key to the community's victory in the challenge was the persistence of the YAT members and the outpouring of community support.

"I was amazed at the number of energy audits we were able to do," he said. "Folks really rallied behind the cause ... with money on the line it definitely helped."

The final results are expected to be made public Wednesday or Thursday, according to Tatro; however, he said Fort Scott was tops in at least two of the three areas, number of whole-house energy efficiency audits and the number of bulb switches.

The other three regional winners receiving $100,000 each included Manhattan, Colby and Baldwin City.

The Take Charge Challenge was a friendly competition between 16 cities in Kansas divided into four regions to promote energy efficiency. The contest was facilitated by The Climate and Energy Project in partnership with the Energy Division of the Kansas Corporation Commission and ran from January through September.