MASON CITY – The Mason City council recently scuttled a proposed solar energy plant for the Mason City library, saying the return on investment would take too long, but discussions are still being held on the matter.
A meeting was scheduled with City Administrator Brent Trout, Jason Gideon from Energy Consultants, Inc., David Morgan, David Grooters, Barbara MacGregor and Director Mary Markwalter on Tuesday, September 23 at the Library to discuss options for a solar energy plant installation at the library. The idea of the solar plant remains intriguing to some city officials, and the council had said that if the time frame for a return on investment was shorter, it might be to more discussion on pursuing the project. The solar energy plant would have potentially saved $30,000 or more in energy costs annually for the city.
Again this week, Brent Trout and Mary Markwalter will be meeting with representatives from an alternative energy company to discuss other ways to fund the library solar and LED lighting project that will allow the City to eventually own the solar energy plant at the Library and save money on electric bills until the City owns the solar plant.
“Hopefully the meeting tomorrow will lead to a Council/Library Board Work Session and/or Council Agenda item,” Markwalter told NIT Monday morning.
As budgets remain tight in every city department, and citizens have faced a large tax hike in the last city budget with potentially more on the horizon, city staff is continually looking for ways of “trying to get ahead of the budget issues”, as council member Scott Tornquist has said.