U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor and officials from the city of St. Petersburg gathered today at the Coliseum to highlight clean-energy initiatives -- and the jobs that come with them -- made possible by a $2.4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"When we passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, one of our goals was to create clean-energy jobs and to foster a more energy-efficient environment and clean-energy economy," Castor said. "St. Petersburg is a shining example of those critical dollars at work. I am also proud that numerous contractors were put to work."
New solar panels at the Coliseum and city hall, new energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems at community centers and parks, solar water heater systems and lighting systems are among the improvements being made in St. Petersburg through the $2.4 million Recovery Act grant. The new solar panels that will be added to the Coliseum and City Hall will power the large water heater system that sustains both buildings. Solar water heaters can cut water heating bills in half and reduce our carbon footprint.
"Important investments in our community through energy efficiency and solar energy are putting our neighbors to work and saving taxpayers money," Castor said.
Castor also applauded the city for partnering with local contractors, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and others. Mayor Foster, Mike Connors and the St. Petersburg City Council have been proactive in achieving the goals of the stimulus and ensuring local small businesses were hired.
"Partnerships like this make our communities great," Castor said. "Tapping into local resources, including contractors and small businesses, helps our economy and keeps our neighbors on the job."