from staff reports



The City of Meridian has been awarded both a national and a statewide award for its Meridian Greening project, a program geared toward economic efficiencies and environmentally sound practices.

The program has received the Outstanding City Livability award for cities with a population of less than 100,000 from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Excellence Award in planning and economic development for cities with a population of more than 10,000 from the Mississippi Municipal League.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors award was accepted by Mayor John Robert Smith at the conference's annual meeting in Rhode Island. Winners of the MML award will be recognized at a conference in July.

The city's greening initiative was launched on Earth Day 2008, when Smith issued an executive order requiring all city departments to comply with nearly 90 different methods of energy conservation.

The changes aimed for in the green initiative range from easy, common sense measures, like the city's no idling policy for public vehicles, to large overhauls, like the yet-to-be-implemented plan for a paperless filing system in city departments.

The initiative is led by a "green team" of employees from every city department.

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