Valdosta goes green - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta goes green

February 19, 2007

Valdosta - As a trained chemist and biologist, environmental issues have always been near and dear to Mayor John Fretti's heart.

"With my education, I always have to take into consideration the environment," says Mayor of Valdosta John Fretti.

And he's now taking steps to help make the city more environmentally friendly.

That plan includes phasing in hybrid vehicles for some city departments.  "We can start with the hybrids using batteries, battery power because that's most prevalent right now.  In the future when an alternative fuel is determined to be prevalent or the best, then I hope to go to that."

He's also taking measures to make the next government building more energy efficient.  Like many buildings in Georgia, energy is lost through windows, doors and walls. 

The new building will utilize energy saving techniques like solar paneling and special insulation that will keep the energy in and the costs down.  "You can put an extra 60 thousand dollars into a building and over a three year period save 120 thousand dollars and then that building obviously lasts for years."

He hopes by taking these measures, Valdostans will follow suit.  "We can show the community we care and that will hopefully entice them to care more and purchase hybrid vehicles themselves."

And new businesses will make an extra effort to be economically safe and environmentally friendly.

Mayor Fretti hopes the new hybrid vehicles will hit the streets this year.

They are planning the construction of a new municipal auditorium which he hopes will be their first energy efficient building.

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