[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Augusta as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-21-2010 by Ord. No. 155 (Ch. 6, Art. VI, of the 1990 Code)]
Purpose. By and through this article, the City of Augusta declares as its public purpose the establishment of a municipal program to enable its citizens to participate in a Property Assessed Clean Energy ("PACE") program so that owners of qualifying property can access financing for energy-saving improvements to their properties located in the City. The City declares its purpose and the provisions of this article to be in conformity with federal and state laws.
Enabling legislation. The City enacts this article pursuant to Public Law 2009, Chapter 591 of the 124th Maine State Legislature, "An Act To Increase the Affordability of Clean Energy for Homeowners and Businesses," also known as "The Property Assessed Clean Energy Act" or "The PACE Act" (codified at 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10151 et seq.).
This article shall be known and may be cited as "the City of Augusta's Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Ordinance" ("this article").
Except as specifically defined below, words and phrases used in this article shall have their customary meanings. As used in this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated:
- The City of Augusta.
- ENERGY-SAVING IMPROVEMENT
- An improvement to qualifying property that is new and permanently affixed to qualifying property and that:
- A. Will result in increased energy efficiency and substantially reduced energy use and:
- (1) Meets or exceeds applicable United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Energy Star program or similar energy efficiency standards established or approved by the Trust; or
- (2) Involves air sealing, insulating, and other energy efficiency improvements of residential, commercial or industrial property in a manner approved by the Trust; or
- B. Involves a renewable energy installation or an electric thermal storage system that meets or exceeds standards established or approved by the Trust.
- PACE AGREEMENT
- An agreement between the owner of qualifying property and the Trust that authorizes the creation of a PACE mortgage on qualifying property and that is approved in writing by all owners of the qualifying property at the time of the agreement, other than mortgage holders.
- PACE ASSESSMENT
- An assessment made against qualifying property to repay a PACE loan.
- PACE DISTRICT
- The area within which the City establishes a PACE program hereunder, which is all that area within the City's boundaries.
- PACE LOAN
- A loan, secured by a PACE mortgage, made to the owner(s) of a qualifying property pursuant to a PACE program to fund energy-saving improvements.
- PACE MORTGAGE
- A mortgage securing a loan made pursuant to a PACE program to fund energy-saving improvements on qualifying property.
- PACE PROGRAM
- A program established under state statute by the Trust or a municipality under which property owners can finance energy-saving improvements on qualifying property.
- QUALIFYING PROPERTY
- Real property located in the PACE district of the City.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY INSTALLATION
- A fixture, product, system, device or interacting group of devices installed behind the meter at a qualifying property, or on contiguous property under common ownership, that produces energy or heat from renewable sources, including, but not limited to, photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, biomass systems, landfill gas-to-energy systems, geothermal systems, wind systems, wood pellet systems and any other systems eligible for funding under federal qualified energy conservation bonds or federal clean renewable energy bonds.
- The Efficiency Maine Trust established in 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10103 and/or its agent(s), if any.
Establishment; funding. The City hereby establishes a PACE program allowing owners of qualifying property located in the PACE district who so choose to access financing for energy-saving improvements to their property through PACE loans administered by the Trust or its agent. PACE loan funds are available from the Trust in municipalities that:
Adopt a PACE Ordinance;
Adopt and implement a local public outreach and education plan;
Enter into a PACE administration contract with the Trust to establish the terms and conditions of the Trust's administration of the municipality's PACE program; and
Agree to assist and cooperate with the Trust in its administration of the municipality's PACE program.
Amendment to PACE program. In addition, the City may from time to time amend this article to use any other funding sources made available to it or appropriated by it for the express purpose of its PACE program, and the City shall be responsible for administration of loans made from those other funding sources.
If the Trust adopts standards, promulgates rules, or establishes model documents subsequent to the City's adoption of this article and those standards, rules or model documents substantially conflict with this article, the City shall take necessary steps to conform this article and its PACE program to those standards, rules, or model documents.
PACE administration contract. Pursuant to 35-A M.R.S.A. § 10154(2)(A)(2) and (B), the City will enter into a PACE administration contract with the Trust to administer the functions of the PACE program for the City. The PACE administration contract with the Trust will establish the administration of the PACE program, including, without limitation, that:
The Trust will enter into PACE agreements with owners of qualifying property in the City's PACE district.
The Trust, or its agent, will create and record a notice of the PACE agreement in the appropriate County Registry of Deeds to create a PACE mortgage.
The Trust, or its agent, will disburse the PACE loan to the property owner.
The Trust, or its agent, will send PACE assessment statements with payment deadlines to the property owner.
The Trust, or its agent, will be responsible for collection of the PACE assessments.
The Trust, or its agent, will record any lien, if needed, due to nonpayment of the assessment.
The City, or the Trust or its agent on behalf of the City, promptly shall record the discharges of PACE mortgages upon full payment of the PACE loan.
Adoption of education and outreach program. In conjunction with adopting this article, the City shall adopt and implement an education and outreach program so that citizens of the City are made aware of home energy saving opportunities, including the opportunity to finance energy-saving improvements with a PACE loan.
Assistance and cooperation. The City will assist and cooperate with the Trust in its administration of the City's PACE program.
Assessments not a tax. PACE assessments do not constitute a tax but may be assessed and collected by the Trust in any manner determined by the Trust and consistent with applicable law.
Liability of municipal officials; liability of City.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, City officers and City officials, including, without limitation, Tax Assessors and Tax Collectors, are not personally liable to the Trust or to any other person for claims, of whatever kind or nature, under or related to a PACE program, including, without limitation, claims for or related to uncollected PACE assessments.
[Adopted 3-15-2012 by Ord. No. 12-030 (Ch. 6.5, Art. I, § 6.5-4, of the 1990 Code)]
The Director of the Community Services Department and Director of the Department of Public Works, after notice and public hearing, and after an opportunity for the public to submit written comments, shall recommend policies and procedures governing the use of pesticides. All policies and procedures must be in compliance with applicable State of Maine statutes and regulations of the Board of Pesticides Control. The recommended policies and procedures shall become effective upon approval by City Council.