When it comes to the proposal of adding a solar structure to the event center complex, I find it disingenuous of the paper and others to be as critical as they are of the proposal. We have an opportunity to add an energy-producing solar array that will mostly be funded by a grant, and we can't ask the community to fund the rest? Let us not forget the multitude of citizens in Bemidji and the surrounding area who didn't want the event center to be constructed in the first place, and now we can't ask the citizens of Bemidji to invest in solar energy to bring down the carbon footprint and operating cost of the structure?
The event center cost $90 million to construct, and now it's considered offensive to invest another $170,000(estimated) in solar panels? It is odd that some feel it is so offensive to ask the citizens of Bemidji to invest in a renewable energy structure that will lower the operating cost of the event center over the long term.
Yes, the initial construction cost of the solar panels may seem high, but many upfront costs of investments are; the event center itself is an investment for the community with a significant upfront cost. The solar panels are a long-term investment that will bring down the operating cost of the building and reduce its carbon footprint.
It is unfortunate that solar was not planned into the structure in the first place. The whole roof of that structure should have been covered with solar panels.