NORTH RIDGEVILLE - Residents were impressed when 11-year-old Alex Foldi approached the mayor with a plan to make the city more energy efficient at last week’s Coffee and Conversation with the Mayor gathering.
Alex would like for the mayor, local lightbulb companies and himself to work together to swap out luminescent bulbs for LED bulbs throughout the city. He said North Ridgeville will benefit from this by cutting down on taxes and by making the city greener. Alex said these lights are normally brighter and will be more cost effective in the long run.
Alex is concerned about non-renewable resources and feels now is the time to take action.
“We need resources for gas for cars and to power houses,” Alex said. “By simply using an LED bulb, we can help slow down the use of resources.”
He hopes the city takes action to implement his plan and that other cities will take notice and join in.
Alex’s mother, Heather Foldi, said her son has a number of ideas for trying to help the city and wants to eventually raise awareness on many issues.
“He formulates these ideas and doesn’t have a way to implement them so I decided I need to start helping him through this,” Foldi said.
Alex is a fifth-grade student at the North Ridgevillle Tech Academy and is involved in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program. He volunteered with Community Care last year and is very community minded, Foldi said.
Mayor David Gillock said he is impressed by Alex’s insight and thoughtfulness.
“Young men such as this exemplify how smart some of our kids are today and more importantly, how they are aware of social and economic issues such as these,” Gillock said.
Gillock is a board member of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, or NOPEC, and has already contacted them and formed a couple of ideas to pursue.
NOPEC, is a Solon based non-profit dedicated to bringing reliable, stable and lower energy costs to families and businesses in the area. The group also educates members on the advantages of lowering their energy usage through nopecinfo.org.
North Ridgeville recently earned a $117,000 grant from NOPEC which will most likely be used to put in LED lights in the batting cage at South Central Park, Gillock said. In addition, the city is working with a North Ridgeville business, Climate-Tech, to install energy efficient heating in the batting cage building.
NOPEC gives the city $7 for every resident who is a member. The money must be used to improve energy efficiency. With the last grant they provided, the city was able to put LED lights in traffic signals, replaced an inefficient diesel truck with a new fuel efficient one and replaced some windows.
Gillock said maybe Alex could become a “spokesboy” for what the city is doing in the green lighting area and help make the public aware.
Gillock has also made an attempt to contact General Electric and hopes they will be able to work together to pursue this goal of becoming more energy efficient.