Loans for businesses that seek energy improvements are available, a MARC official told the Blue Springs City Council.

Roger Kroh, Mid-America Regional Council’s Energy Conservation Project manager, presented a program Monday at the the Blue Springs City Council meeting that would issue loans for energy improvements to local businesses.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE) is a voluntary program in which cities or counties pass an ordinance to create an independent taxing district to administer it and appoint a representative if they choose to participate. PACE will make loans to the business for energy-saving improvements such as solar panels, insulation and new windows.

The way PACE works is the dollars saved by energy improvements on businesses’ utility bills will repay the loan instead of writing checks to pay a lender. The special assessment will pay off the loan when a business pay its taxes.

PACE is funded by a pool of banks, energy investment funds and revenue bonds, Kroh told the City Council.

The program provides 100 percent financing for energy-related loans. If a company chooses to participate, they have to decide on the energy project’s scope and have it assessed by an engineer or professional. They must be current on tax and utility payments.

Missouri statute prohibits the cost of energy improvements not to exceed original utility bill costs.

The city will bring up the PACE ordinance for consideration in a future session.

The City Council also approved a lot to be developed. “Tamala’s Lot” was unanimously voted for a second reading in order to approve the final plat. The lot is intended to be developed as a single-family house on Southeast Moreland School Road and Third Street in southern Blue Springs.

In other business, a citizen voiced concerns with trees blocking vision for drivers at intersections and drivers speeding in designated school zones.

The citizen complained that trees at the 12th Street and Liggett Road and 24th Street and Walnut Street intersections impair a driver’s vision when making a turn and can potentially cause accidents. She requested the city to trim down the trees to prevent vehicle collisions.

Members of the council responded that private property owners have been cooperative when it comes to maintenance, but the city is only responsible for the tree impairment if it encroaches on public easements. The council secretary recorded the addresses for an investigation.

The same citizen also addressed a number of drivers speeding near her child’s school, Plaza Heights Christian Academy on Southwest Clark Road, and was concerned about children safety. She argued that school zones do not extend far enough. City Council members replied that school districts usually set the school zone speed boundaries and the issue of enforcement should be brought to the school’s attention.