Mayor Fischer renews promise to make Louisville more 'green'

By Jon Chrisos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Efforts continue to make Louisville more green. New Metro Mayor Greg Fischer is moving forward with his promise to make the city more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Like all libraries, Newburg neighborhood library is a center for learning, and it is teaching some important lessons on how to be more green.

City officials, including Mayor Fischer, are using it as a model of an eco-friendly building. His goal is to make other city buildings more energy efficient.

"By encouraging sustainable thinking and behavior by all citizens beginning with metro government, we should be the model; we can protect the environment, support conservation, save money and become a more desirable place to live," Fischer said.

While there's a lot of green inside the library, including the paint on the walls and shelves, most of the green features aren't that obvious - like the geothermal heating and cooling system, solar-powered roof, and wind-powered lighting.

The lighting is programmed to complement the library's hours of operation. The solar panels, installed on the roof, generate enough power to supply all of the power required by the library's lighting systems.

"We hope to be able to save the cost of electricity and powering this building," Library Director Craig Buthod said.

Fischer says this project is only the start of his environmentally friendly initiatives. He plans to fulfill his promise to create an office of sustainability during the next budget cycle.

Fischer also announced plans to make green improvements at the Metro Development Center at 444 S. Fifth Street. A combination of solar thermal and photovoltaics panels, which convert sunlight into energy, were installed to provide 100% of the building's hot water. The Metro Development Center houses Public Works and Assets, Economic Development and Inspections, Permits and Licenses.

Both projects were paid for with a $1.4 million grant from the economic stimulus plan.

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