CRA Board accepts solar panel bid, Greg lang as official director, and Chamber's Creswell house plan

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By Lindsay Edmunds

Cedar Key is steadily going green--not only have volunteers recently planted 62 live oak trees on the island, but as was decided at the last Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meeting, the Community Center will soon be powered by solar energy as well.

Two companies gave cost proposals for installing a photovoltaic system at the Community Center: Delta Coast Energy Solutions, a company based in Cedar Key, and Pure Energy Solar, a company from Gainesville. Pure Energy Solar submitted a cost for the 10 kilowatt system, at $73,500, while Delta Coast Energy Solutions submitted costs for both systems--$42,5000 for the 5 kilowatt system, and $75,000 for the 10 kilowatt system. After careful consideration of the factors involved, such as maintenance contracts, rebates, and possible module layouts, the CRA board members voted for the 5 kilowatt system from Delta Coast Energy Solutions. The modules will be installed on the roof of the garage located next to the Community Center.

The meeting also included a status update on the CRA Interim Director position, held by Greg Lang. CRA Chair Sue Colson commended Lang for doing an outstanding job, and noted that his work thus far has been vital in the board's success. After a round of applause from the audience, the board then voted to make Lang the official CRA Director, striking the term “interim” from his title.

Another key point of discussion in the meeting concerned the Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce's proposal to convert the Creswell House into a visitors center. This proposal would allow the Chamber of Commerce to renovate and use the front porch, living room, front bedroom, and construct an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant bathroom and ramp at the Creswell House. The CRA voted to spend $2,000 on renovations, and have the Chamber of Commerce supply the balance of materials and labor for the renovation. The board members also voted that the lease for the Chamber's visitor center be for five years, with in-kind services accepted in lieu of rent. However, the Chamber of Commerce will be paying for utilities, as well as liability insurance.