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Dundee considers solar power

DUNDEE—The Dundee village board debated investing in a solar power facility during their meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 13.
Mayor Fred Cratsley Jr. said the village will meet with representatives from Larsen Engineering to discuss a facility that would power all village owned properties. He said the village owns 13 electric meters, and the state grant program would pay for up to 20 different meters.
Cratsley said private companies would bid on the price for the contract, with the winning company applying for the grant and financing the project. He also said Larsen would be the firm to install the facility once financed, with no out of pocket expense for the village. Cratsley said the village would then pay 11 and 1/3 cents per kilowatt to the firm for 15 years, while only paying a $100 a month service charge to New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG).
Cratsley said after the first 15 years, the price would go down to 10.8 cents per kilowatt. Then after 20 years, Cratsley said the village would be able to buy the entire system for $1, with a 3 cent per kilowatt maintenance charge for another 10 years.
While the board was interested in solar power overall, they were wary to get the village involved in a long-term commitment without researching the issue further. Cratsley said if the village used more energy than the solar facility was able to produce, the village would still have to pay NYSEG to make up the difference. The board also discussed the rapid evolution of solar panel technology, saying the plant could be outdated within a few years, and by the time the village took over ownership of the plant its energy output could be considerably lower than other options.
Cratsley said he was told by Larsen representatives the solar power plant should save the village $500,000 in a 30 year period, but he said the deadline for the grant application is Friday, Dec. 7.
“I’m not ready to put the village in that situation without looking at it more,” Cratsley said. “I’m not ready to do something that drastic. I’m good with this type of a system but I’m not jumping into it right now.”
In other business:
• The board discussed options for repairs of well house number one by the school after a tree fell on the roof during storm Sandy. Cratsley said the tree damaged approximately 14 feet of the 30 foot long roof. After receiving an insurance check for $2,775, the board decided to have Paul Brown Contracting replace the entire roof for a cost of $5,600 during a special meeting Monday, Nov. 19.
• The board approved a $338.55 sewer credit after a 37,000 gallon water leak at 51 Bigelow Ave. The board said the owner would still have to pay for the water, but not the sewer since the water went into the ground and not the sewer.
• Cratsley discussed wanting to remind the community of the 15 miles per hour speed limit in the school zone after saying he saw a student almost hit in a crosswalk. He said that was the second time he had seen a near-miss in the past six months and the public needs to remember all cars must yield to the rights of pedestrians by the school.





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