BLANCHESTER — Residents around Putman Elementary will soon see some greener developments around the school.
“I think we’re coming down the home stretch,” said Greg Akers, New Business Development Director of Solar Power & Light, LLC, in Dayton, about the Solar Array Project at Putman Elementary.
At Thursday”s Blanchester Village Council meeting, Akers told council members and locals they had one little hurdle and that was with some active sewer lines. SP&L Chief Operating Officer Brent Boyd told council they would be constructing the panels at what they thought was a reasonable distance away from it.
One of the only other concerns expressed at the meeting was by Councilmember Chad Hollon, saying, “It’s a shame to lose the best sledding hill in town.” Boyd assured him that a portion of the hill would be left for sledders to use.
Blanchester Superintendent Dean Lynch greatly appreciated the public hearing on the project. Lynch also expressed gratitude towards Mayor John Carman, the council, and BPA Trustee James Bowling for their support of the project.
“Things were moving at a snail’s pace prior to them getting involved,” said Lynch.
The school has one more meeting with BPA and SP&L to address a couple of BPA inquiries. But Lynch expects to have all the preliminary work and questions finalized at the meeting. This will mean they can hopefully break ground before the end of the year.
Locals first got an idea about what this project meant for the schools during the August 2018 school board meeting when Akers and Boyd spoke about it.
Akers told board members and locals that this would be good for taxpayers because the energy generated for the schools would lessen the burden of money the district has to come up with.
“This could save you anywhere between $200,000 and $450,000 in the next 25 years,” said Akers. “Which is a lot of money that you can be invested back into public programs.”
Boyd gave details on the technical aspect of the solar power systems. According to Boyd, the investment would give them back $750,000 in tax credits. After six years, once they harvest the tax credits, the school would own that money.
There would be one power system for the middle and high school and another one for the elementary school.
Reach John Hamilton at 973-382-2574