FPL to be a Solar Test Bed

Near the beginning of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Lioneld Jordan asked Louise Schaper, executive director of the Fayetteville Public Library, to approach the microphone to make an announcement.

She had big news to share. The FPL recently received a grant to make the library a solar test bed. From the $60,000 grant, 48 solar panels will be added to the roof of the library and will provide 10-20 kilowatts of energy, Schaper said.

The library has partnered with the University of Arkansas and the city of Fayetteville, among others, to implement the solar plan.

“The project will be designed and constructed and installed by students,” Schaper said.

The project is set to begin in the upcoming fall semester when classes begin for senior-level electrical engineering students, and professors in the department will provide the oversight for the project.

Of the 515 libraries that applied, Blair Library was one of nine chosen for the solar technology grant by the International City County Management Association.

Also at the council meeting, Don Marr, chief of staff for Mayor Jordan, gave an update on the city cleanup effort. More than 359,689 cubic yards of debris have been gathered, which does not include private streets, Marr said. The second pass of the cleanup crew began yesterday.

Fayetteville Public Library

Also, Marr said the Parks and Recreation department is developing a reforestation plan for the city. The city will have two tree giveaways to help recover some of the trees that were ice-casualties. The first giveaway will be on April 25, Marr said.

In other business, new permits for non-motorized boating will be available for folks who paddle on Lakes Fayetteville, Sequoyah and Wilson.

The Fayetteville City Council unanimously decided to amend the existing regulations, so those who want to canoe, paddleboat and kayak on the lakes can obtain a permit without paying the fee for fishing.

Previously, all boaters had to get the same permit for $6 a day, which included a fee for fishing. Now, the daily permit for non-motorized boaters will be $3. Also, season passes for non-motorized boating will be $20, as opposed to the $50 fee for motorized boating and fishing.

Every year the department had gotten several complaints about the fee, said Connie Edmonston, director of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation. This rule change might increase the number of patrons to the park, she said.

The amendment does stipulate that if a non-motorized boater wants to fish, a fishing license and permit will still be required.