I hope you are all enjoying this taste of spring. We hope winter is finally done and we can get on with better weather and spring gardens.
Our solar project is currently stalled in front of the Public Service Commission. The reason for this is that New York State Electric and Gas Corp. objects to the way that Rose will be credited with the value of the electricity produced. The plan has always been to have a “monetizing” approach — that is, the electricity generated each day will be valued at yesterday’s average electricity price, then that amount of money will be credited to our Rochester Gas and Electric account and applied against our bills for the other nine accounts. This is different from the “volumetric” method where we exchange a kilowatt for a kilowatt. We think the monetizing approach has the greatest value for the town. NYSEG is contesting this approach, probably because it is the better deal for us. If they should prevail, we would have to completely rethink our approach to a solar project. If we are successful with this, then we are ready to proceed to construction. The site is cleared, the due diligence has been completed and we’re ready to go. Only NYSEG stands in the way.
The Catchpole Road Water Treatment Plant has only a very few items to finish on the final punch list. This includes such mundane things as seeding the dirt around the construction area, which obviously has to wait for better weather. We are still “breaking in” the plant and making some adjustments, but it is actually pumping water and pumped 1.2 million gallons of water during the month of February. We expect these last few issues to be resolved in the near future and the plant will be fully ready to help us if the summer goes long and hot.
We continue with rebuilding some parts of the town office to build a new office for the town historian. This has already helped get some file cabinets and records out of the main meeting room and into locked files where they are better protected in the event of fire. Between this and a regular place for the historian to work, it should be easier for her to do her work and we expect great things — interesting information for all of you about Rose’s history.
The regular annual financial updates have been completed and sent to the appropriate regulatory agencies. You are welcome to review a copy if you wish. The town clerk will have a copy at her desk if you wish to do so. This is not a complete audit, though it is close. We will soon be doing a complete financial audit of the Catchpole Road water project as well as all other town accounts. This is required as a condition of the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan for the water project, but is also a good management practice to keep track of the money and the correct processes for handling it.
At the county level, the board of supervisors just approved the purchase of a new multipurpose vehicle for the fire service. Among other things, the purpose of this vehicle is to provide a place and means for firefighters to rest and recover from the stressors of a fire scene, and to do it where they can be checked by medical personnel. The idea is to keep firefighters hydrated and rested so they don’t become casualties themselves from overdoing at the fire scene. This vehicle is to be housed centrally and then deployed to fire scenes as needed all around the county — a shared service.
Lastly, a reminder. As winter fades away and spring arrives, spring storms will arrive with it. Just as we had some turbulent weather during the winter season, so should we expect turbulent storms during the spring. Recall that the ice storm of 2003 was in April. So, as you make your transition to spring and get ready for barbecue season, please get your household ready for these storms. Then we can take them in stride.