County officials learn how to go green

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Henry County Economic Development Partnership hosted a workshop at Lavender Crest Winery in Colona Thursday, June 24. Several Henry County communities were represented at the gathering. Pictured are, from left, speaker George Bialecki, Jr., director and founder of Future House-USA, Linda VanDerLeest, mayor of Geneseo and Tim Wells, HCEDP chairman.

    On Thursday, June 24, the  Henry County Economic Development Partnership hosted a workshop at Lavender Crest Winery in Colona.

    Henry County municipal leaders, contractors and community members heard presentations on zero net energy homes, using permeable pavers, rain barrels and native plants for storm water management, geothermal heating and cooling and tax benefits of green energy.

    Featured speakers included: George Bialecki, Jr., Director and founder of Future House, USA; Monica Stevens, resource conservationist with the Henry County Soil and Water District and Carol Mansker, CPA, tax manager with Crippen, Reid and Bowen in Geneseo.

    Awareness was an objective of the evening. Each presenter gave examples of green energy initiatives that use the latest technology. Speakers shared ideas on green energy programs, storm water management and air quality awareness, and reviewed federal and state incentives for using green energy. 

    Bialecki’s presentation challenged the group to think about green communities and sub-divisions. Attendees discussed the importance of developing city/county building codes to encourage the use of this technology.

    This workshop was initiated by a team from the Geneseo MAPPING project and the Henry County Economic Development Partnership.        Henry County Economic Development Partnership is a non-profit organization with the mission "to provide proactive leadership and coordination to stimulate local economic growth by assisting local governments and local businesses with economic development programs and projects."

    Funding for the event was provided by a grant from the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research. The MAPPING project was facilitated by members of the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs.