SPOKANE, Wash. -- It's becoming more and more often that we find Spokane making lists for being a "hip city" or "most attractive city." Now, the city is trying to work its way onto another list for being a “smart city.”
Sunset magazine said Spokane is a top Northwest "Game Changing Place to Live." The magazine, among others, are intrigued by the city taking steps to incorporate air-quality sensors, solar panels and smart metering into its urban planning.
"We really, I think, are in a boom town right now and when articles come out talking about how great we're doing that makes me feel great," Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said.
Spokane is not done yet. On Monday night, the city council is discussing an ordinance that would waive building and construction permit fees for solar energy systems and electric vehicle charging stations projects.
"If you're going to install solar panels on a project you're building or put new solar panels on your hose or electric charging stations, we're going to waive those fees," Stuckart said.
Waiving those fees saves between $50 to $75. But that's not all Stuckart said he would like done to encourage people to install charging stations.
"I was on the phone with Tesla a few weeks ago. They have a new program where they partner up with construction groups and cities nationwide and they'll offer you as many charging stations you want and not even charge you for them," Stuckart explained.
The only catch is the charging stations would only be compatible with Telsa cars. Stuckart said this is just one way the city is already making itself attractive to new businesses looking to relocate.
"There are companies that talk about moving here because we are a 'zero landfill' city, or we produce energy when we burn that garbage out of the waste energy plant. There are other companies interested in relocating near and using the energy from it," he said.