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Glenville seeks solar solution

Neighboring municipalities may be looking to Glenville as a model on how to cut energy use and costs.

Just last year the town entered into a contract with Reliant Energy, based out of Houston, and had the New York State Power Authority conduct an energy audit on all municipal buildings. The town has since received a $100,000 state grant to research locations where solar panels would be most cost-effective.

Town officials say going green will also save the taxpayers money.

Energy is something in the budget that we are constantly looking at to see how we can control and reduce it, said Supervisor Frank Quinn. "We can change light bulbs and make small changes, and we can also look at bigger ideas like this one. It's a budget item savings that helps everyone."

Quinn said the town was awarded the grant partly through the help of Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna.

Councilman Chris Koetzle said the town hopes that installing the panels at just one building may reduce energy costs by up to $30,000. Koetzle said he has been working with the power authority to install solar panels on the town hall, water plant or senior center.

"We're conducting the study now to see where we will get the biggest bang for our buck. The money will be used to hopefully get us completely off the grid. Plus, we will be greener," Koetzle said. "This is all part of our energy plan to minimize our impact on the environment and save taxpayers money."

Koetzle said the town is also looking at ways to convert some natural gas utilities to cheaper alternatives.

In other news, the town announced last week that bulk pickup is now back in the budget for Glenville residents.

At the cost of close to $10,000, the town hired Meridian Construction Company of Scotia to provide roll-offs at drop-off points across town. While a central location is still being determined, Koetzle said the program will take place for four Saturdays, beginning April 25. Residents can bring their bulk items to the drop-off location and dispose of them free of charge. Previously residents were able to leave the items curbside for pickup, but due to costs, that program was eliminated.

"I know it's not as easy as bringing it to the curb, but this is the best program we could run with the resources we have this year," said Koetzle. "We'll look at enhancing it next year. We have heard from a lot of residents that they want the service back. It's really one of the few services they can point to and say, 'My tax dollars are providing me that.' They see that they're getting something for their money."

Items that won't be accepted include tree stumps, propane tanks, tires, chemicals, televisions, and items with freon. ""

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