City Seeks Different Ways to Go Green

City Seeks Different Ways to Go Green
Journal Review 12/19/2008
by Tyler Montgomery

Green no longer is just a color. It is a mindset, a healthy outlook and even a goal.

Environmental issues might seem to have overtaken the U.S., but many people in small communities believe they have escaped the green craze.

However, communities like Crawfordsville can make a crucial move in the search for greener pastures.

Mayor Charlie Coons said he is happy there are being changes discussed on the federal level. “Since I started, I’ve been looking at changes for energy efficiency,” Coons said. “However, everyone seems to be in a fix right now.”

Crawfordsville, as far as being more green, is focused on the 15-to 20-year plan. “It costs about $40,000 a year to heat our building,” Coons said. “I’m working on a way to bring in jobs to help make our building more energy efficient.”

It shouldn’t be as hard for local residents to take immediate steps to practice energy conservation.

“We encourage people to use energy wisely,” said CEL&P Manager Roy Kaser. “People should look for appliances that use less energy as well as think about longterm lighting.”
“The smaller things people can do on a daily basis will actually effect the greater community,” Kaser said.

Chad Hess, with FC Tucker Carter Hess Group, said home owners could be more aware of practices that would help the environment. According to Hess, Indiana homeowners can receive an additional tax credit by implementing
energy saving additions.

Home owners receive credits for using solar energy heating or cooling systems, wind power, hydroelectric power and geothermal devices.

Some environmentally-sound practices will help Sugar Creek, a major concern in Montgomery County.

Friends of Sugar Creek has applied for grants that would help it focus on nonpoint source solutions.

Nonpoint source solutions concern erosion and unidentifiable pollution sources.

“Point solution concerns drains and other aspects that pollute a water source directly,” said Nathan Mullendore, the watershed projects
coordinator. “What affects Sugar Creek is erosion from private properties and land around the county. Silt is our main pollution source.”

Mullendore said Friends of Sugar Creek is attempting to get grants from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to bolster its watershed inventory.

The watershed inventory helps Mullendore get a better understanding of the Sugar Creek pollution problem on a greater scale.

Keeping Sugar Creek clean will save the county money by keeping costs down on water treatment and state and national fines.

Mullendore said a clean Sugar Creek will offer students better access to an outdoor study facility.

“Students will be able to see nature change in real life,” Mullendore said. “Also, Sugar Creek has a lot of possibilities for swimming, fishing and canoeing.”

A lot of agencies are starting to work together. “The city has helped us out a bit,” Mullendore said. “The Montgomery County Community Fund supplied us with a grant to
complete several projects.

“Funds allow us to be more proactive in our efforts. We will be creating signs to put on the Sugar Creek trail that will catch hikers’ eyes and make them more aware of their actions.”

The Friends of Sugar Creek will be working on the signs while the weather is cold, in order to ensure implementation next spring.