In line with her plan to make the city of Greencastle more environmentally friendly and in an effort to be fiscally responsible, Mayor Sue Murray has given her support to a plan to cut down on fuel consumption by city vehicles.
She and the other two members of the Greencastle Board of Works approved and adopted a resolution Wednesday afternoon to prohibit unnecessary idling of city-owned vehicles, beginning immediately.
"We're spending a lot of money on fuel," Murray told board members Trudy Selvia and Thom Morris. "We can't afford to waste any fuel."
She followed up her comments after the meeting by saying that she doesn't think the city's employees are "blatantly" wasting fuel.
"We just need to be responsible," she said.
Selvia spoke in agreement.
"It's a no-brainer," she said. "It makes sense at all levels."
The resolution requires city employees to:
* minimize idling and conserve fuel at all times,
* ensure assigned vehicles are properly maintained,
* ensure tires are properly inflated,
* plan and map out trips to minimize the distance traveled,
* carpool whenever possible or practical,
* reduce vehicle warm-up time,
* eliminate unnecessary weight in the vehicle,
* ensure the vehicle emission controls, systems and components are not altered or disconnected unless approved by the mayor.
Employees are exempted from the idling policy if they are sitting in traffic, if their vehicle must remain on to prevent a safety or health emergency, if they are responding to an emergency (but not solely for the convenience of the driver), if the vehicle is being serviced and needs to remain on or in the event of extreme weather.
The mayor said she wanted it to be clear that the new rules do not apply to residents of the city, however, she hopes that private citizens will be encouraged to conserve voluntarily.
In the meantime, Murray says she is continuing to look for ways to help the city be more "green." The city has applied for a grant that would allow it to buy energy-efficient lightbulbs that could be handed out, free of charge, to residents of the city.
In other business, the board:
* Approved the contract to begin allowing Greencastle utilities customers to pay monthly bills with credit cards. Clerk-Treasurer Teresa Glen said she thought it would take about two weeks, possibly a little longer, to get the system going. She said they would let the public know when they could begin using credit cards for their water and sewer bills.
* Approved a second water connection for Maurice Butler.
* Approved the hiring of William Boyce to the utility department and Herbert Embree and Donald Black to the cemetery department.