COLUMBUS, OHIO – The federal economic-stimulus plan will allow the City of Columbus continue to move forward on its "green" efforts, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The city has experienced cutbacks on several programs and plans outlined in Mayor Michael Coleman's 2005 Get Green Columbus plan — intended to reduce air and water pollution, add to the city's greenery, and encourage recycling as a result of budget cuts — but will move forward on other greening activities.

Nearly half of the 590 new cars and trucks the city purchased in 2008 were equipped with filters that reduce soot pollution or run on alternative fuels. That surpassed a city goal that at least 25 percent of new vehicles meet tougher environmental standards.

Plans to "green" city buildings and save money by increasing their energy efficiency also will get a boost from the federal economic-stimulus plan.

Officials learned last week that they will receive $7.4 million, reported The Columbus Dispatch.

Joel Taylor, director of the city's Finance and Management Department, said the money should help pay for more energy-efficient lighting, urinals that use little or no water, and much-needed upgrades to aging heating and air-conditioning systems.