Mayor Graham Richard tonight announced the creation of a Green Ribbon Commission made up of community and business leaders that will help the City develop a comprehensive energy and clean air plan for the community. Mayor Richard made the announcement during his Report to the People speech to the southwest quadrant area.

The Commission will hold meetings and then recommend to the Mayor an action plan for reducing energy costs and consumption and improving air quality. The Commission will also work to raise awareness within the community about energy issues and air quality. Residents and businesses will be encouraged to engage in energy savings and improved air quality practices.

Mayor Richard has requested that the plan include goals, metrics, and performance measures. The Commission will be co-chaired by Randy Roberts, President of Lincoln Printing and Regina Leffers, President of Synergid Commercial and chair of the Northeast Indiana Green Build Coalition.

“The City of Fort Wayne must be a leader in reducing energy costs and air pollution,” said Mayor Richard. “Proactive energy efforts will make Fort Wayne more competitive in attracting new jobs and businesses. We need to find new ways to be more energy efficient to save money, improve customer service and enhance the quality of life in Fort Wayne.”

Mayor Richard also announced a series of initiatives the City has planned for 2006 as a continuation of the Mayor'€™s Green City Initiative.

* Purchase six hybrid vehicles. Seven hybrids are currently in use.

* Expand the use of biodiesel and ethanol fuels

* Construct a new mile of greenway along the Towpath Trail. The trail will eventually link the City and New Haven with the Aboite area. More than four miles of the Rivergreenway will be paved in 2006.