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Published: Wednesday, 2/28/2007

Elmore starts to think green for development

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Lasagna, dumplings, and green energy were on the menu in Elmore last week at the village's first Green Energy Housing Development forum.

Elmore Mayor Lowell Krumnow said he invited politicians from local and state levels, contractors, developers, village officials, and green energy officials to the forum that began at 4 p.m. on Friday and ended with a dinner around 7 p.m.

About 30 people attended, and discussed possibilities that included a planned-unit development or buildings that could be given Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificates, the standard for environmentally conscious, or "green" buildings as determined by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council in Washington.

"We wanted to bring the best of the minds in the area looking at the possibility of taking a piece of property and turning it into a viable development showcasing today's technology," Mr. Krumnow said.

"People need to start to be concerned of the efficiency of the building rather than the color of the counter top," he said.

Village officials are looking at development options for the 54 acres the village owns in a southwest section of Elmore on Dischinger Road.

Right now it's a cornfield. The mayor said he would like to see a mixed bag of energy-efficient homes built there.

"We wanted to find out the possibility of developing thearea out there as a green energy-type of development so the houses would be super ener-

gy-efficient," Councilman Rick Claar said. "And there's grants for that."

The proposed development is a part of the village's master plan to create an entire area devoted to renewable energy and environmentally-friendly homes.

Elmore Village Council has already taken the first steps toward that by spending thousands of dollars to monitor the wind capabilities there.

Council is now in the middle of studying the wind speed for a year with an anemometer.

If the feasibility study results are positive when the village receives them in about six months, officials would look into getting grants to place a small-scale wind farm there.

The farm would be made up of several wind turbines, or generators that would transform kinetic energy in the wind into electricity. Just one wind turbine would be able to serve two-thirds of the village's electrical needs, Mr. Claar said.

Mayor Krumnow said last week's meeting is the first of many meetings tentatively planned for every other month.

The "off" months would be for a smaller committee to meet to discuss more specific plans.

"I think a lot of it is just education and enlightening people," the mayor said.

Greg Feller, engineer for Feller, Finch & Associates of Maumee, said he made a point to attend the forum.

"As a company, we're trying to get more in tune with low-impact development because that's the future," he said.



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