From Reynoldsburg Mayor Joe Begeny's desk: 'Green Tomato' plan is a responsibility for all of us

Joe Begeny
Guest Columnist

Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed and whispers of a return to a “normal” way of life are being talked about, cities will have to address the challenges that had to take a back seat.  

One thing that everyone can be a part of is our “green” initiative for sustainability, or as we call it, our “Green Tomato” plan.  

Joe Begeny

Starting at City Hall and on to the residential neighborhoods and our commercial districts and schools, we all can do more to help the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.

Our internal team soon will have its first meeting, bringing our passionate community members to the table as we move along. There are a lot of things to accomplish, and we can get more done together. 

Our city vehicle fleet is going to look a lot different over the next few years as we switch to electric/hybrid/propane-based transportation, beginning with police cars.  

We also have three electric-car charging stations, two at Memorial Plaza and one at the YMCA Community Center. A second station will be added at the Y as the demand increases.  

I was on the Reynoldsburg City School Board when changes to the HVAC systems and LED lighting resulted in immediate savings, and the city will be moving in that direction with the possible use of solar options as well.  

As businesses and developers continue to visit Reynoldsburg and take advantage of our great community, we are encouraging them to build energy-efficient structures and ensuring construction will have limited impact on the environment. 

We are working to include native plants and landscaping for the benefit of indigenous species throughout our parks, expanding our community gardens and potentially working to include composting options.  

We also are in the process of applying for grants to assist in combating erosion on the Blacklick Trial with the hope of solidifying the embankments for the future.       

Changes can start in our homes.  

Our Arts and Beautification Commission will help organize litter collections throughout the summer. Local Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops started last fall, and even you can help out while on your neighborhood walks. If our entire community works together, we can make a big difference in the environment. 

Joe Begeny is the mayor of Reynoldsburg. He can be reached at jbegeny@ci.reynoldsburg.oh.us