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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “ypsisolar”

"I will donate $50 to the YPSI People's Solar Initiative to install solar panels on City Hall but only if 200 other local people will do the same."

— Murph, Ypsilanti resident

Deadline to sign up by: 16th April 2008
83 people signed up, 117 more were needed

Country: United States
Place: Ypsilanti (view map)

More details
Ypsilanti resident Dave Strenski (responsible for the solar panels on the food co-op roof) has proposed putting solar panels on the south facade of City Hall. This installation would not only help to power City Hall, bringing down ongoing electricity costs, but would also serve a powerful public relations purpose - the panels would be visible to everyone entering downtown from I-94, and the City's website could display an energy meter, advertising Ypsi as a solar city.

City Councilman Brian Robb notes that the initial purchase cost of solar panels is quite high, and suggests the "YPSI People's Solar Initiative" ("YPSI", for short) to raise funds.

I will therefore pledge $50 towards the installation of solar panels on the south facade of City Hall, but only if 200 other people will. This would generate $10,000 towards the panels, which could be used for a small installation or matching funds for a grant.

Help make YPSI People's Solar Initiative a reality!

See Dave's short powerpoint at:

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Comments on this pledge

  • Here's a much-updated proposal from Dave Strenski, the originator of this idea:

    This one is for a smaller array than the full-coat file listed, only $19,000 installed, including much more engineering/monetary detail than the one in the initial pledge text.

    (I'm not able to modify the original text - pledgebank (reasonably) considers it unethical to modify a pledge which people have already committed to, but I think this updated proposal is an implementable, specific version of the more abstract initial idea.)
    Murph, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Great pledge! I'd encourage you to use the tools found in the yellow box on your pledge page to promote your pledge using flyers, MySpace, and blogs. PledgeBank also just launched a Facebook application (found at; you can use that to invite friends to sign your pledge.

    Additionally, we have launched a partnership with ChipIn to help folks raise money for their pledge. You can find ChipIn at If you'd like us to add a ChipIn URL to your pledge, just email us at team at pledgebank dot com.

    Good luck!
    Heather, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I continue to work on the design and have an updated version with more detail in it. You can find it at:

    The current estimate for the project is $19,000, so we'll need 380 pledgers. Pledge early and pledge often.

    The current status of the project is that we are still waiting for the Ypsilanti Historic District Commission (HDC) to approve the project. If they deny putting the solar panels on the back of City Hall, the fall back plan is to put them on the roof or pick another City building outside the Historic District.

    Any group wanting to learn more about solar power can get a free presentation. More information at and clicking on <Ypsi Solar News>.

  • Dear Ypsilanti Solar project supporter,

    I write to you today because you have pledged support for the Ypsilanti Solar Project to install 12 solar panels on the back of the City Hall at The project needs $3800 to move forward. The next step is getting the design finalized by a licensed structure engineer. I have recieved a not-to-exceed quote from Fitzpatrick Structural Engineering of $3800.

    If you can donate any amount to cover this expense, please write a check to the "City of Ypsilanti" and put in the memo "Ypsilanti Solar Project". The City Manager has now established a separate Solar Project fund; your contribution will be used only for this project. With a final design, we will be able to get HDC's final approval, and continue fundraising to purchase materals.

    Below you can read a brief history of the Ypsilanti Solar Project.

    I would also like to remind everyone that I am available to give free presentations on solar power to any interested organization or group. To schedule a presentation send me an email at

    Send check to:

    City of Ypsilanti
    One South Huron Street
    Ypsilanti 48197

    Remember to write "Ypsilanti Solar Project" in the memo.

    Thank you very much for your continued support,
    Dave Strenski
  • - - - - Project history - - - -

    The current design for the back of City Hall can be found here:

    In the spring of 2007 I met with the Mayor and proposed putting solar panels on the back of City Hall. The Mayor gave his support and I then went before the Ypsilanti Historic Commision (HDC) for approval. Over the summer the HDC created an Alterative Energy Fact Sheet for the City's historic districts. See:

    While our project seems to meet the guidelines, the HDC will not approve the project without a building permit application on file.

    In August I asked City Council for a resolution of support for the project, and received unanmious approval. See Resolution No. 2007-175 at:

    With the building permit filed, Bill Bohlen, Department of Public Works Director, and I went before the HDC again for project approval. The HDC continues to support the project in concept, but remain concerned about damage to the brick wall. Though the current design states that brick anchors will be placed in the mortor joints, HDC wants to see the final, licensed structural engineer's design before granting approval.

    Bill Bohlen introduced me to Tom Fitzpatrick, P.E. of Fitzpatrick Structural Engineering which is the firm that the City typically uses. The HDC also recognizes Fitzpatrick as very qualified, and respects their opinions. I met with Tom Fitzpatrick, and gave him all the design information I had compiled for the project, and asked for an estimate for creating a final design. In December of 2007 Fittspatrick Structural Engineering submitted a not-to-exceed bid of $3,800 for this work.

    To finance this engineering work the Mayor and City Manager have set up a Solar Project Fund.
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Murph, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Brian Robb
  • Katy Wortman
  • Steve Pierce
  • Pete Murdock
  • Lisa Bashert
  • Theresa Maddix
  • Andrea Wiggins
  • Kate de Fuccio
  • Dave Strenski
  • Lynne Fremont
  • Bonnie Wessler
  • Suzie Heiney
  • Andrew Brix
  • Brian Filipiak
  • Monica King
  • Tim Towey
  • Amanda Edmonds
  • Barry LaRue
  • John Rutherford
  • Linda French
  • we, Ed & Bonnie Penet
  • Mark Maynard
  • Stacey Fallis
  • Pete McKee
  • Cafe Luwak
  • Jim Karnopp
  • Glen Sard
  • Kim Reynolds
  • Forrest Karnopp
  • Brian Kerr
  • Joyce Ramsey
  • James Marks
  • Andrew Shaver
  • VGKids
  • Gordon's Five & Dime
  • Cheryl Farmer
  • Monica Milla
  • Michigan Elvisfest
  • MARK Higbee
  • Barry Dauphin
  • Rod Smith
  • Chris Grant
  • Brian Vosburg
  • Dave Holzschuh
  • Gary Clark
  • Beth Bashert
  • Brian Tell & Rachel Egherman
  • Jason Bing
  • Brendan Kuras
  • Clean Energy Coalition
  • Geri Durka-Pelok
  • Kristy Ganoe and Mike Brown
  • Carolyn McKeever
  • Jerome Drummond
  • bob kilpatrick
  • Cameron Getto
  • Mike Kestly
  • Zach Wright
  • Ypsilanti Food Coop
  • Jennifer Wenzel
  • Megan Turf
  • Paul Schreiber
  • Erin Snyder
  • Kirk Jones
  • Michael Sloan
  • 汤伟
  • Teresa Gillotti
  • Kathleen Gilles
  • 13 people who did not want to give their names, 1 of whom has done the pledge

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