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North Lauderdale Gets 'Smart' on Cars

September 10, 2010 - 1:47pm

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The Parks and Recreation Department of North Lauderdale, Fla., is saving money and reducing its carbon footprint, thanks to the recent addition of two energy efficient “Smart Cars” to the city’s fleet.

The pint-sized cars, which can travel up to 40 miles on a single gallon of fuel, were purchased with funds from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program.

The cars, which were purchased in Broward County, are used to perform night patrols of city parks and carry out other routine duties. The city expects the two cars to save North Lauderdale taxpayers approximately $4,800 per year.

“The Smart Cars have really made a difference in our budget,” says Parks & Recreation Department Director Michael Sargis. “Between performing security checks and facilitating programming, my staff does a lot of driving. With the Smart Cars, we can complete that work while conserving fuel. It’s a win-win situation.”

Changes for additional savings

According to North Lauderdale Mayor Jack Brady, purchasing the Smart Cars was only the first step in the city’s comprehensive shift toward energy efficiency. The remaining funds from the total $161,800 EECBG grant will be used to install low-flow sinks and toilets at city facilities and equip all municipal offices with motion-activated lighting sensors.

In all, the city expects to save around $24,400 annually and help North Lauderdale achieve the long-term goal of reducing its carbon footprint.

“With the help of EECBG funding, our community is aiming to become an area-wide model of energy efficiency,” says Mayor Brady. “The Smart Cars are a great first step, but we plan to do a lot more to encourage conservation among residents and visitors.”

Brady adds that “going green” isn’t just responsible, it’s cost-effective.

“There has never been a better time to prioritize conservation, both in business and within the community. With fewer resources available at every level, it’s important to secure the greatest value for tax payers,” he says.

This article was provided by the city of North Lauderdale, Fla.

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