By Leilani Haywood
Tribune Reporter

Lee’s Summit High School senior Zachary Burton had an idea for the city of Lee’s Summit to save money. An environmentalist, Burton approached the Planning and Special Projects Committee about having solar panels installed at a city facility last summer.

He worked with the Planning and Special Projects department to determine that the Animal Control facility at 1991 Southeast Hamblen Rd. would be a good location for solar panels.

Planning and Special Projects submitted an ordinance at the Lee’s Summit City Council February 1 meeting to modify the plan under the Unified Development Ordinance. Lee’s Summit-based MCPower is the solar panel provider and installer. The project has an estimated savings of $88,000 in energy costs over 25 years.

“I started the project because I’m an environmentalist and I think this is the best way for the city to lower carbon emissions and save money,” Burton told the City Council. “I actually think the estimated $88,000 savings is conservative. With the money saved, you can buy more solar panels to increase your savings and that money saved can be spent on more important things than just an energy bill.”

Councilmember Diane Self said to Burton during the presentation, “I want to thank you for taking the attention of the city because I think there are a lot more seniors or younger people that could be bringing ideas to the city.”