ypsilanti and the solar city hall

I’ve been meaning to write about my friend Murph’s online campaign to raise money to convert Ypsi’s City Hall to solar for a few weeks now, but something more important keeps popping up and distracting me (like my need to ruminate publicly on the underwear of Mormons). Well, here, finally, is my post. Now, for the details, I’m going to hand it over to Murph:

Join the YPSI People’s Solar Initiative today!

For those who haven’t been paying attention, there’s some energy out there around the idea of equipping City Hall with solar panels as part of a wider initiative to save energy and cash – as well as showing off our city as environmentally forward-thinking. Dave Strenski, who previously scored a grant to outfit the Food Co-op with solar power, has been the visionary behind this idea, and I think I’d be correct in saying that our Councilmembers, the Brians, and DPW Director Bill Bohlen (aka the Patron Saint of the Frog Island Garden) think this is an idea worth pursuing.

But, as Councilman Robb has pointed out, $20k in solar panels may not be the top priority in the City’s budget, so he suggested that maybe this was something a “friends of” type group might help out with.

So, here’s your chance to help out! Would you put up $50 of your money to see City Hall start producing solar power? I sure would, and 19 other people have already pledged their support – there’s $1,000 right there! If you want to put in your support, I’ve set up a Pledgebank page for this project:


Now, technically, what you’re pledging is to donate $50 if and only if 200 other people make the same pledge – so not only am I asking you for your pledge, but I need your help publicizing this effort. Pass that link around!

I think it’s a great idea, and I’ve signed on. I wonder, however, if perhaps the proposal could be a bit more ambitious. For instance, why not raise money for the country’s first All Nuclear City Hall? The Water Street property, I’m confident, could accomodate a small fast-breeder reactor, with room left over for a TGI Fridays and a new dollar store.

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  1. Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Mark — this is a great use of the site, and I’m glad to see folks in the U.S. latching onto it. I just started working as U.S. Outreach Officer for PledgeBank, and I’m trying to drum up exactly this kind of pledge. I hope the pledge is successful, and that more ambitious pledges continue to unfold! Let me know if/how I can be helpful!!

  2. egpenet
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    My wife and I are signed up, as well.

    My concern is that the proposed system may be totally out-of-date by the time we get the thing mounted … meaning, the technology is moving so fast that I’d like to see a grid erected on the back of the building that would allow for the installation of more than one technology, as well as, the opportunity to update as often as is practicable. We’ve (HDC) asked the city to look into other technologies that would be more than a symbollic gesture to a greener Ypsilanti. Ideas please!

  3. mark
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I got a note from the “Ann Arbor News” earlier and they’re planning to write a story on the Ypsi Solar Initiative. It’ll be in the paper either this week or next.

  4. mark
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    This idea was covered in today’s “Ann Arbor News.”

  5. egpenet
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I want to add to this thread a mention of the Ypsilanti Go Green article in the Sunday, May 20, 2007 Ann Arbor News. The author, Susan Santone, suggests that Ypsilanti go after “green” companies to come in to help revamp the city and rebuild the industrial base using new technologies. Exactly.

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