Rochester leaders team up to go green-er

Rochester has made environmentally-conscious improvements throughout the
city while adhering to a modest budget, proving that it’s possible for
communities to ‘go green’ without breaking the bank. City Manager
Jaymes Vettraino explains that this movement is a balancing act,
especially in a time of shrinking revenues.

“We understand city council’s aversion to saying we’re going to spend
$50,000 to turn every light bulb a different way,” Vettraino said
Mayor Jeff Cuthbertson agrees with Vettraino. Green programs in
Rochester must be approached on a case-by-case basis with the exception
of the city’s curbside recycling program. While there is no ‘green
master plan,’ the mayor said that he feels the city has “accomplished a
fair deal in the last three years.”

Excerpt:

The movement seems to have begun in the private sector. Vettraino
credits restaurateur Mike Plesz, owner of the Rochester Beer Co. and the
short-lived Mind Body Spirits, for getting the ball rolling. Both
restaurants were built in historic buildings. Mind Body Spirits had
geothermal wells and a greenhouse, used many reclaimed materials,
sourced its foods locally and organically and generated a lot of buzz.

“The greenest thing you can do is take an old building and reuse it,”
Vettraino said. “There got to be a feel in town.”

The whole story is available here.