North Haven Board Accepts Bid for Solar Panels to Go on Village Hall Roof

Jessica van Hagn discusses the cost of moving the old schoolhouse to Village Hall with the Village Board on Tuesday. Peter Boody photo

North Haven officials have been talking about putting solar panels on the roof of Village Hall since at least 2011, when a committee that included Trustee Dianne Skilbred, the then-building inspector and resident Jamie Davis offered a solar plan to the Village Board that would have generated from 80 to 100 percent of the building’s needs.

Back then, the estimated cost was between $70,000 and $90,000.

More than seven years later, the tab was far less when Ms. Skilbred voted Tuesday with the three other Village Board members who attended the board’s regular monthly meeting to accept the bid of $46,299 from Harvest Power of Islip Terrace to install solar panels on the building’s southwest-facing roof. It was the only bid received in response to a request for proposals the village published in February.

Taxpayers won’t feel any new pinch for the project because an unassigned fund balance will cover it. The money comes from last year’s budget allocation for the work, which was never spent.

How many panels are installed depends on calculations a Harvest Power engineer will be making on site soon. Installation should take six to eight weeks so the system should be up and running by late July or early August, supplying and estimated 99 percent of the building’s annual power usage of about 15,000 kWh.

The solar panel plan was one of many topics covered during the sparsely attended, 90-minute monthly meeting of the board. They included the board’s informal decision, at Mayor Jeff Sander’s urging, to withdraw a proposed local law to require “innovative/alternative” nitrogen-reducing septic systems and replace it with a tougher proposal at its next meeting on June 11; a 4-0 vote to conditionally approve a dock for the property of Daniel Levene at 55 Coves End Lane, despite recent code violations there and changes that must be made to reflect village code requirements in Mr. Levene’s pending applications for the dock before the Army Corps of Engineers, the state DEC and the Southampton Town Trustees; and an update from proponents of the plan to move the village-owned Old Schoolhouse from the corner of Ferry Road and Maunekea Street to the south side of Village Hall so it can be used for educational exhibits and have access to the bathrooms in Village Hall.

Jessica von Hagn, who has been working with Ms. Skilbred and resident Susan Edwards on the project, reported that the cost of moving the building had been estimated to be $16,000 by Dawn House Movers of Yaphank and $28,000 by Davis Building Movers of Blue Point. Additional construction work would cost up to $6,000, Ms. Von Hagn said, estimating the total cost of the project as $25,000.

A state grant of at least $15,000 for the work may be available. Village Clerk Eileen Tuohy said that Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. will advise the board in June on state funding.

Mayor Sander asked the proponents of the schoolhouse move to make a full presentation for the public including a final budget at the next board meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11.

Also on Tuesday, the chair of Sag Harbor’s Harbor Committee, Mary Ann Eddy, came to the meeting at Mayor Sander’s request to describe the water quality monitoring program that she and the Harbor Committee helped initiate last year with five monitoring stations in Sag Harbor waters. Data is collected and sent for analysis to the lab of Dr. Christopher Gobler, a marine scientist at the State University of New York.

Mr. Sander said he asked Ms. Eddy to come so the board could consider whether or not “we could piggyback or do something similar.” As the village takes steps to improve water quality — by enacting an I/A septic system requirement, for example — there should be a way to determine if “water quality is getting better or worse. We need a benchmark,” he said.

Financial support for the project, Ms. Eddy said, came from multiple donors who raised $54,000 for the project, including the Sag Harbor Yacht Club, the East Hampton and Southampton Town Trustees, the Sag Harbor Partnership, the Village of Sag Harbor and other sources, with donations ranging from $15,000 to $50. She noted that the Surfrider Foundation also tests local East End waters.

After the presentation, Mr. Sander thanked Ms. Eddy and said he would be in touch.

In other business on Tuesday, the Village Board:

  • Agreed to name Sag Harbor’s building inspector, Tom Preiato, as an alternate building inspector for North Haven in cases of conflict for the village’s inspector, George E. Butts III.
  • Appointed Sound Actuary to calculate its three-year liability for former employee health insurance costs, as required by approved accounting practices.
  • Set the next board meeting for Tuesday, June 11, at 5 p.m. instead of the usual third Tuesday of the month and the annual organizational meeting of the board for Tuesday, July 2, at 2 p.m.
  • Discussed the possibility of revising time limitations in the village code for visible construction and landscaping work, which currently are prohibited on weekends except in cases of emergency; and adding a code restriction on the use and placement of dumpsters.