Zanesville Mayor Howard Zwelling is making three major announcements, not only to the city of Zanesville but to the entire country.
He asked some local, state, and federal leaders to join him this morning to celebrate some exciting news.
WHIZ’s Emily Baird has more.
People packed into Zanesville City Council Chambers this morning to see how Zanesville is revolutionizing green energy.
Zanesville Mayor Howard Zwelling says the city is the first in the US to use the Lightmaster for its street lighting.
"The whole country’s going to be looking at Ohio and Zanesville as a leader in this technology. I’m proud of that, " says Zwelling.
The Lightmaster is installed in seven different locations around the city.
"The ease of installation. It’s very easy to put in and the simplicity of the whole piece of equipment, " says Zanesville Traffic Signal and Electric Supervisor, Fred Buck.
Yet, it’s what the Lightmaster can do for the environment that is really raising some eyebrows.
"The energy savings is tremendous. You know, anytime you can, everybody’s on a budget crunch. I mean, it’s just too bad we don’t have one for the house, " says Buck.
Zanesville is currently using about 30 percent less electricity to light some of its street lights thanks to the Lightmaster. That also turns into about a 30 percent savings on the city’s electric bill.
Zwelling also announced that Ohio leads the nation with the usage of this technology. The University of Akron and Ohio State University are using several units for lighting in their parking garages.
Zwelling’s final announcement, JCore, the company that distributes the Lightmaster, will be building a plant in Zanesville. It will be located in the Eastpointe Industrial Park.
"The interstate system and the rail system, and the airport, everything is here. We can reach a very high percentage of the population within a day’s drive, " says JCore CEO, Jim Winn.
The Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority will be assisting JCore through this process, and the company hopes to start building the plant in 2010.
"We’re showing them some existing facilities to see what we can do in the short term to accomplish what they want to accomplish. Then we will work with them, their architects, and their engineers to build something in the future, " says Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority’s Jerry Nolder.
More importantly though, the company will bring about 60 jobs to the city of Zanesville, and Zwelling says it doesn’t stop there.
"They are going to build a plant with expansion possibilities, and I predict it’s going to be big, " says Zwelling.
I’m Emily Baird for WHIZ News.
Zwelling says the Lightmaster is a step in the right direction when it comes to loosening our country’s dependence on foreign countries for energy sources.