To the editor:
Under the new 2009 stimulus infrastructure bill, Kansas could receive $317 million for transportation and tens of millions for energy conservation and renewable energy. President Obama wants the stimulus monies to fund green jobs. Investment in sustainable infrastructure projects now will ensure the viability of the community and Earth plus provide green jobs. Below are possible projects for Lawrence:
• Energy audits have already been conducted for many public buildings. This means buildings are ready now for energy conservation measures or retrofitting, which will save taxpayers thousands of dollars. Lawrence workers can be hired for two years to do the retrofitting. To keep the process going, an energy auditor can be hired for two years to conduct energy audits of the remaining office and public buildings.
• Provide funds for bike paths and lanes. Bike paths and lanes increase safety, plus encourage people to bicycle for health and transportation.
• Expand the Kansas Wind for Schools Program by installing wind generators at and solar photovoltaic panels on Lawrence schools. Utilize the 5 kw wind generators manufactured in Newton by EnerTech. Turn these turbines and solar panels into teaching tools and include them in the curriculum.
• The city should move toward obtaining its electric power from renewable sources. The city can issue a low-interest loan to Bowersock to build an additional hydropower plant on the north side of the Kansas River. The company is already interested if its existing federal permit will suffice.
Clark H. Coan,