Warwick – Jack Eisenbach, engineering consultant to the Warwick Valley School District and principal of Eisenbach and Ruhnke, presented details of the district’s energy performance project and proposed wind turbine for Sanfordville Elementary School at the school board’s regular monthly meeting on Monday night.
The school board is looking for ways to improve the district’s energy usage and efficiency, to reduce energy costs. The proposed wind turbine is one potential way to achieve that goal, supporters believe.
In response to a concern about funding for the wind turbine, Eisenbach said, “The state has never reneged on providing building aid, regardless of the budget.”
When asked about holding the line on costs for the turbine, Eisenbach said there would be no cost overruns: “Costs are guaranteed by Johnson Controls.”
In terms of timing on the project, Eisenbach added: “Engineers are four months out … they want to get the application in January so work can start by end of May.”
In a supportive comment to the administration, community member Marc-Anthony Serrano said by e-mail, “I find your forward-thoughts about being ‘green’ extremely refreshing. It’s about time that someone took the initiative around here to help make the environment a better place.”
It was not enough, however, to convince the board. Of those members in attendance, two supported the district’s purchase and installation of the wind turbine outright, one saw the performance project as worthy without the wind turbine, and two were opposed.
Those in favor: School Board President Dave Eaton and board member Paul Caskey, “because of positive cash flow” as a result of the energy savings.
John Connolly supported the project with some reservation: “(The project is) fantastic without the turbine, controversial with the turbine.”
The two members in opposition: Board Vice President Bob Howe and Samantha Sweeton. “It may be a better idea a couple years down the road, given the current state of the budget,” Howe said.
While the proposed wind turbine has effectively been tabled for now, the public will have another chance to ask questions about the project at the board’s next long-range planning session on Monday, Dec. 20.
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