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Fischer Applauds Green Programs Though Funding May Soon Be Scarce

Louisville Metro Government officials gathered in Newburg Tuesday to celebrate new environmentally-friendly projects in Louisville. Mayor Greg Fischer says he plans to focus on sustainability with all new city projects, but that could be a financially difficult task.Solar panels have been added to the Newburg library and a government building downtown. They were installed by Earthwell Energy Management. Company president Johnny Miller applauds Fischer's pledge to pursue sustainable projects in Louisville."By calling attention to this project and putting it in the spotlight, I think it sends the message that we're in the beginning of a new era, that we have new priorities and we have a new sheriff in town," he says.Both projects were paid for with money from the federal stimulus package. That money won't be available for new projects, and Fischer says he will have to review all new developments and construction to find ways to make them green on a budget."A lot of sustainable investments, the cost has reduced significantly over the last decade or so," he says. "There still is a small cost difference between going green and not green, so the price differential is not nearly as much as what it used to be."Fischer also plans to hire a director of sustainability. That will have to wait until the summer, though, since the money to pay the director is not in the current city budget.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.