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Summit Hill Water Authority continues solar field plans

Published September 23. 2010 05:00PM

Solar field plans are moving forward although Summit Hill Water Authority officials learned the secondary PEDA grant they were hoping to obtain fell through in the past few weeks.

The project will continue as originally planned but officials had been hoping the additional funding would shorten the length of the loan they needed and help pay off the project faster.

"We learned we just missed the PEDA funding which was disappointing," said President John Michalik, "but if the grant doesn't work out for one of the organizations to which it was awarded, we are near the top of the list to be considered next."

This simply means officials will be moving ahead with plans for the 1.4 million dollar solar field south of the physical plant on its property in White Bear. During Tuesday night's meeting, officials provided tours to attendees of the physical plant and the surrounding property to not only show the location of the solar field but also the timbering operations being performed on the property under the guidance of the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources.

Michalik and members of the board are hopeful after meeting with local, state and Federal officials to discuss alternative methods of funding the project. If any of those secondary sources work out, the authority could save significant funds and pay back the loan much sooner than the project sixteen years the current model requires.

Before the meeting, authority employees showed the renovations they made to the plant to make it safer including new floors, drop ceilings salvaged from the old school in town and fresh paint. The physical plant really looked much better last night than it has in years.

The next meeting will be October 19, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the borough hall.

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