Warning: Be careful what you wish for….
Many of us are wishing for warmer temperatures, and at this moment probably think “global warming” is not a bad thing. Wrong! According to scientists, a warmer, moister atmosphere provides more energy for storms and severe weather events, including floods, drought and heat waves. Our Town of Tusten, back in February 2012, pledged to join the New York State “Climate Smart Communities Pledge” in order to look for ways to operate our town more efficiently with renewable energy and ways to reduce our carbon footprint while at the same time saving taxpayer’s money. Proudly, we are among the elite with less than one-quarter of all towns, villages and/or cities having made this pledge as of 2014.
It has been a pleasure to watch a committee of a few dedicated citizens—Charles Blanchard, Star Hesse and Brandi Merolla—tirelessly work to see this pledge through. They are truly an example of a small group making a large difference. In January, after a report from the committee about the pros and cons of owning a solar electric system, the town board voted to pursue the use of solar power for all town-owned properties through a power purchase agreement. This agreement will allow the town to reduce our carbon footprint while reducing the cost of electricity to taxpayers and at the same time eliminate the responsibility of owning and maintaining the equipment. Unlike homeowners’ solar systems, the town will not be credited for excess electricity production; the owner of the system will reap the excess in exchange for taking care of all the maintenance and repair related to a large system. In February, after much research, the Tusten Energy Committee presented the town board with a sample of a proposal for how to invite qualified companies to bid on this system. The system will be placed on town-owned property adjacent to the highway barn.
It has been a long road for the Tusten Energy Committee and no doubt they are anxious to see their hard work come to fruition. Perhaps they, as we, will be rewarded from their hard work this spring. Thank you Tusten Energy Committee.