North Haven May Go Solar


By Claire Walla

This year, the Village of North Haven budgeted for roof repairs at its village hall. But, based on discussions at a board meeting on Tuesday, the village aims to do more than replace its wooden shingles.

The village board heard a presentation by trustee Diane Skilbred, who — along with village building inspector Al Daniels and resident Jamie Davis — is part of a committee formed to investigate the prospect of outfitting village hall with solar panels.

“We’re aiming to get about 80 to 100 percent of our electric bill” taken care of by the solar panels, Skilbred explained.

This estimate is based on informational meetings the committee had set-up with three local companies: Green Logic, Sun-Nation and NRG (which stands for Nationwide Renewables Group).

Skilbred said the village can expect to pay somewhere between $70,000 and $90,000 to install solar panels. However, she added that the entire cost of the project is impossible to pinpoint now. The price tag is expected to be offset by rebates issued retroactively to solar energy companies through the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). The rebate rate is currently set at 2.75 Kilowatts an hour, which means that, in the end, North Haven Village will pay roughly $35,000 for the project.

However, Village Clerk Georgia Welch emphasized that this dollar amount is only based on LIPA’s current rate. It could very well change over time, especially given the time frame for this particular project. Welch said it would probably take about four months to get a resolution passed to begin construction on solar panels. Right now, the village is in a very preliminary stage of the process.

Skilbred spoke to the benefits of going solar by adding that the panels would be good for up to 25 years, and that the village should expect to see a return on its investment after 11 years.

Plus, she added, “it sets a good example [for residents].”

The village board voted on Tuesday in favor of spending up to $5,000 to pay for project proposals from each company. Welch said she expected the bids to come back in January.

In other news…

Mayor Laura Nolan reported that the village ended up paying roughly $30,000 for storm clean-up efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. The village hired two extra part-time workers, Mark Daniels and Joseph Labrozzi, who ended up hauling garbage away at $75 a trip; they made about 42 trips in total. Village Clerk Georgia Welch said the village is still waiting to hear back from FEMA to see whether some of that cost will be reimbursed.

Unlike the rest of Southampton Town, which will see a limited leaf pick-up program this year, North Haven Village Trustees voted to implement their program this year just as last year. Pick up will commence on two dates this fall: November 14 and December 5.

The village also approved the hire of Laura Hildreth, who will continue efforts to help the village move information from paper to electronic documents.

“This is the third and final phase [of the project],” Welch explained, adding that is expected to be completed by this summer, just as she had predicted. Hildreth will be paid $35 an hour for six hours a day, three days a week from October 3, 2011 through May 1, 2012.