Durango's semi-annual Bike to Work Day celebrates sustainable transportation options; LPEA will hold a virtual town hall to update members about the latest developments to negotiate a new power supply contract, and the Durango Education Foundation seeks donations to address student achievement gaps that have widened as a result of the pandemic. This story is brought to you by Pop's Truck and RV Center and Tafoya Barrett and Associates
Show off your commitment to sustainable transportation and reducing your carbon footprint during Bike to Work Day. The La Plata Electric Association will host a virtual town hall with updates on its efforts to reduce its reliability on carbon-based fuels. And will you help the Durango Education Foundation reach it's fundraising goal of $250,000? You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Pop's Truck and RV Center in Aztec and Tafoya Barrett and Associates. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Celebrate your commitment to sustainable transportation during the City of Durango's Bike to Work Day on Friday, February 11th. Bike, walk, carpool or ride Durango Transit to one of five stations around Durango from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and pick up a winter Bike to Work Day shirt and breakfast snacks. Take your passport and get a stamp at each station. Passports with two or more stamps will be entered into a prize drawing. Stations will be located at studio and Single Track Cafe, Bird's and San Juan Cycles. To learn more, visit the multimodal transportation page at durangogov.org. The La Plata Electric Association will host a virtual town meeting at 6:00 PM on Thursday, February 10th, to provide an update on the most recent developments in the cooperative's future power supply negotiations. The LPEA board of directors is expected to vote on a path forward at its meeting on Wednesday, February 16th. In 2019, the board directed staff to pursue alternatives to its existing contract with the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. That contract requires LPEA to purchase 95% of its power supply from Tri-State, the majority of which is produced by coal-fired power plants. LPEA is exploring three options, including amending the contract with Tri-State to allow for more flexibility, a partial exit or full exit from membership in Tri-State. Whichever option the board chooses, LPEA has set a strategic goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% from 2018 levels by the year 2030, while keeping members cost lower than 70% of its Colorado cooperative peers. Recently approved amendments to the existing contract have allowed LPEA to develop a two-megawatt solar garden and resulted in a 4% decrease in Tri-State's wholesale power rates for two years. Negotiations continue with Tri-State and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to negotiate a fair contract termination payment for a full withdrawal from the power supplier. The greatest progress has been made in developing the partial contract with Tri-State. LPEA recently negotiated an agreement to purchase 50% of its power from other sources and is in negotiations with Crossover Energy Partners to provide 50% of LPEA's power supply, all of which will be produced by sustainable sources. The board has not yet approved the partial contract option. The virtual meeting will cover all three options, recent developments and their impact on reaching the co-op's strategic carbon reduction goal. To register for the event, visit lpea.coop. The Durango Education Foundation has launched a $250,000 Bridge the Gap Fundraising Campaign to offset the impact of the pandemic on student achievement. The foundation board of trustees has agreed to tap into its reserve fund to match donations dollar for dollar, up to $200,000. That would allow the foundation to invest $450,000 total toward addressing achievement gaps in literacy and mathematics. The money raised will be used to fund after-school programs like tutoring, robotics and computer science, to support early literacy and math programs, to purchase classroom texts and to increase social and emotional resources to address the pandemic's impact on student mental health. The foundation has raised a hundred thousand dollars to date and needs to raise a hundred thousand dollars more to meet its goal. You can make a donation online at durangoeducationfoundation.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the "Local News Roundup. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.