Laguna Vista has been going green for the past few years. In a new move, Mayor Susie Houston said town officials will be taking advantage of the sunny weather and invest in solar energy.
The town administrative offices will soon be running 100 percent on solar power.
Last month, the town council approved the $44,728 project that will retrofit the administrative office to run on solar energy. American Electric Power will be providing Laguna Vista with a $12,592 incentive grant.
Once the project is activated and the building starts to run on solar energy, the town will be reimbursed that amount. Any extra electricity will be sold back to the grid, Houston said.
The town currently spends, on average, $700 a month on electricity for the administrative office. Houston said several residents have already fitted their homes with solar panels and run 100 percent on solar power.
The plan is to retrofit the library and fire stations with solar panels in the future.
When this happens, all the town buildings will run on solar energy. “We think that in the long run, the town will end up saving money while being environmentally friendly,” said City Manager Rolando Vela.
The solar panels are just one step in Laguna Vista’s mission to be more helpful to the environment.
Twice a month, the town participates in a recycling program and just recently, the town has begun to help out its insect-winged neighbors.
In February, the town council authorized Houston to take the Mayors Monarch Pledge. The monarch butterfly is becoming extinct. Its population has declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years.
Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors Monarch Pledge, cities throughout the country are coming together to create a habitat for these butterflies and to educate citizens about how they can make a difference at home.
The town is laying the groundwork to launch this awareness initiative to encourage its residents to plant a monarch garden.