North Vernonís Carnegie Government Center would have a solar array design installed over its rear parking lot if the solar power plan is adopted.óRendering courtesy of Johnson-Melloh Solutions
First, North Vernon was the "City of Railroads."
Now, that moniker might be changing to "Solar City."
That's because the City of North Vernon is on the verge of throwing over fossil fuel-powered electricity and transitioning to solar power, a move that would make North Vernon the state's first "Solar City."
That step - and it would be a bold one - was discussed at length at the City Council meeting Monday night. Kurt Schneider, vice president/partner of the Indianapolis-based Johnson-Melloh Solutions, presented information his company has gathered here for the past year.
If that company sounds familiar, it should. Johnson-Mellow is the same firm that led the energy transformation at the Jennings County Public Library in 2014. Before the upgrade to solar, the library was spending as much as $4,500 a month in electric utility bills.
Today, after the installation of approximately 750 high-efficiency solar panels installed on its rooftop and a solar power tracking system at the main entrance, the library's most recent Duke Energy bill showed a credit for $97.85.
As reported previously in the Plain Dealer, library director Mary Hougland is an enthusiastic proponent of solar and the library itself has become somewhat of a tourist attraction, with visitors from around the country checking out the site.
Jennings County officially celebrated its 200th birthday on Feb. 1, at - where else? - but Vernon, the county seat.
It had to happen sooner or later and Monday night proved the right time as Gloria Bannister was sworn in as the city's first full-time female firefighter.
A benefit will be held Saturday Feb. 18 at Tea Creek Baptist Church from 4 until 7 pm to help with medical expenses for Ed Young, 56. His only child, Savannah Young, is organizing the event to help her dad.
Wrestling began early Saturday morning for the Evansville semi-state at Ford Arena and by the end of the night, many had stepped to the mat but few were able to advance to this weekend's upcoming state finals.
Despite no curbside recycling collection program in the city of North Vernon and despite the inconvenience of having to transport recyclables to drop-off sites often fairly far away from their homes and businesses, people in Jennings County are "greener" than ever.
The New Hoosier Broadcaster, including fiddler Ben Thompson, third from left, of Vernon, will be among the musical artists performing at the 14th annual Granville Johnson Music Festival at the Park Theatre on Saturday, March 11. Also performing will be Noodles Over Paris, featuring Tony and Shirley Bryant, Shania Johnson and the headliner, the Becky Buller Band. Tickets are $20 and on sale now at the Park Theatre box office.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer