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November 8, 2012

Three Mile Point to switch to solar energy

Cooperstown Crier

---- — The village will switch to solar power after being told in August by its neighbor Lou Hager that he intends to pull the plug on Three Mile Point Park.

Hager’s attorney Robert Poulson attended the board’s August meeting to inform the them of the decision to no longer provide the power for the park.

The park’s service runs over private property and the village will have to arrange with NYSEG to have the service run to the park over the utility’s right-of-way, Poulson said. The shut off date was originally Oct. 1, but has been extended to Dec. 31, according to village Department of Public Works Superintendent Brian Clancy.

Poulson told the board of trustees that the association between Hager and the village was “no longer in the best interest of the family.” He explained that Hager was doing some estate planning and changing ownership on some properties.

“That’s what really drove this,” he said. “It wasn’t a good deal for them.”

There had been a misunderstanding about the use of the park for launching fireworks on behalf of Hager for a Fourth of July celebration. Hager, Poulson said, made other arrangements. 

Poulson emphasized to the board that Hager’s decision was not “punitive.”

The fireworks “caused him to focus on his relationship with the village,” Poulson said. “It brought it to his attention for sure.”

During the October meeting, the board of trustees approved spending $15,000 from the parks reserve fund to pay for 1.44 kilowatt stand-alone photovoltaic generating system to provide the energy required to operate the caretaker’s cottage at the village park. The cottage has composting toilets and fans must be kept running year-around. In the summer one or two caretakers live in the cottage that will by powered by the solar system.

The system will also provide the energy needed for flood lights and lights in the pavilion.

The board accepted the $15,000 bid from Revolution Solar in Roseboom. Another bid was received from CNR Energy Solutions in Cooperstown, but it was $43,500. According to Clancy, CNR would have been required to pay prevailing wages, which increased the labor portion of the estimate.

Clancy said that to have new poles set and wire run by New York State Electric and Gas would have cost about $45,000. He said work should begin soon on the installation with completion expected by the Dec. 31 deadline.