Alna selectmen

UPDATE: SVRSU plans solar study; Alna interested

Veterans memorial benches to move from meetinghouse to town office
Thu, 08/08/2019 - 8:45am

UPDATE: The SVRSU board voted Aug. 8 to allocate $1,500 for a solar feasibility study, Superintendent of Schools Howie Tuttle said.

Original post: Going solar with Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12 could be a win for everyone, “but the devil is in the details,” Alna Second Selectman Doug Baston said Aug. 7.

“So I’m not against it, but I don’t know if I’m for it.” The town needs to know a lot more about the would-be partnership, he said.

Selectmen asked one of Alna’s SVRSU board members, Ralph Hilton, to pass that point along to the district. Thursday, Aug. 8 at Somerville Elementary School, the district board is set to discuss whether or not to keep exploring a solar project, Superintendent of Schools Howie Tuttle said in text replies. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m., he said.

The district’s facilities committee has been researching and discussing a power purchase agreement, Tuttle said. “Some municipalities and school districts have been researching the idea around the state,” he added.

Facilities Committee member Richard DeVries of Westport Island sent Alna information. It states SVRSU could cut its electricity costs by 90% a year and the project could be extended to businesses and town offices. No solar panels would go on partners’ buildings, and partners would share in the income from the sale of excess power from the possible four-megawatt solar farm, it states. It adds, a feasibility study would come before a deal.

An SVRSU project, if there is one, may not be Alna’s only solar option. Selectmen noted ReVision Energy has also approached the town and the board has expressed interest.

Also Aug. 7, Third Selectman Greg Shute reported the Head Tide Dam project continues to go smoothly; contractor Jeff Verney was removing material after the abutment’s take-down. At Hilton’s suggestion, the board will see about mixing some black dye into the concrete for the new viewing platform. “They could match the color pretty well with the existing dam,” Hilton said.

Maine Municipal Association is giving the town a $1,220 insurance dividend for good loss prevention, selectmen announced. Baston credited First Selectman Melissa Spinney’s efforts on the salt and sand shed. And no town employees have been getting hurt, Hilton said.

Donations of trees and plants and money to buy them continue to come in for the town office gardens, town officials and resident Chris Cooper said. Donors include people wanting to memorialize someone lost recently or long ago, Cooper said. And he said plans call for moving to the town office the pair of benches on the lawn of the 1789 Alna Meetinghouse.

According to Wiscasset Newspaper files, Coleland Transportation Museum in Bangor gave the town the veterans memorial benches. They were dedicated at the meetinghouse in 2008.

The board meets next at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the town office.