Democratic candidate for governor Jay Nixon toured the Green Circle Shopping Center in southern Springfield yesterday to highlight environmentally friendly businesses in Missouri. KSMU’s Brett Moser reports.
As Nixon toured the Green Circle Shopping Center, inside and out, Matt O’Reilly, owner of the shopping center and of Dynamic Earth, a store located there, pointed out many of the building’s “green” elements.
Photo cells automatically control store light levels based on natural light. A pervious concrete parking lot recharges ground water by allowing storm water to seep through the material. Decking outside is made of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood manufactured in Missouri.
These elements have earned the shopping center a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, platinum status.
And Nixon says he believes more facilities like the Green Circle Shopping Center are ways to jumpstart the economy in Missouri."Our goal is to try to embrace new technology and connect that to the new economy. All of these various connector points are ways we can get this economy going by having Missourians work in Missouri, to build in Missouri," Nixon said.
At this point, Nixon says he has no formal plans yet for state tax incentives or funds he would allocate to “green” businesses.
As for owner Matt O’Reilly, he states though there’s a large upfront cost for “green” businesses, the energy savings over time will ultimately pay off. Even in troubling economic times, he says environmental and social responsibilities within his business are just as important as financial ones.
O’Reilly adds that he has high hopes for “green” facilities in Springfield."Ten to fifteen years from now, I truly believe that "green" building practices will be building code," said O'Reilly.
Being a small business owner, O’Reilly says he hopes Missouri’s legislature will put tax incentives in place to encourage “green’ development.
For KSMU News, I’m Brett Moser.