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Letter: Group advocates for more sustainability efforts

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Crawfordsville and Montgomery County have already made great strides in sustainability. With the completion of the latest solar farm, Crawfordsville will have a higher percentage of its electrical load coming from solar power than any other city in the state. Our City Planning and Community Development department has prioritized tree planting, and I have personally availed myself of the “recommended shade tree” list. Also, in the coming year, we look forward to the removal of the low head dam in Sugar Creek. We have electric power-charging stations.

There’s still so much that can be done to advance sustainability initiatives and make our air cleaner, our county more beautiful, and our budgets sounder. We can simply look around Indiana for inspiration:

• In 2017, North Vernon became the first city government in Indiana to be completely powered by solar with solar powering city buildings, street lights and traffic signals.

• The Bargersville police department acquired Indiana’s first Tesla electric police car. Over six years, Bargersville believes the Tesla’s lower maintenance and fuel costs will save about $21,000 compared to a Charger.

• The Noblesville school district recently completed a solar project that will bring $8M in savings over the next 30 years.

• Here in Crawfordsville, the high school switched to geothermal technology for its heating and cooling needs, which immediately dropped the electric bill by 30%. Other public buildings could upgrade to geothermal as the time comes to replace their HVAC systems, generating energy savings and better air quality.

Please, take a look at these projects, as well as any others begun in cities across Indiana and the country, and see what we can implement here to remain a leader in this space.

John Smillie, Shannon Hudson, Myra Dunn Abbott, Joyce Burnett, Gail Pebworth, Dawn Bonebrake, Tina Osborn, Mark Frank, Jennifer Lowe, Brock Ervin, Karen Gunther, Vicke Hudson Swisher and Maria Weir

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