Purdy school district steps back from solar proposal

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Leaders focus on FEMA project, leave solar plan for later

The Purdy school board has shaded plans to install solar energy panels on the school while leaving the door open for later consideration.

Superintendent Steven Chancellor said he felt that at the present time, he did not want any distractions from the FEMA project, constructing the new preschool and performing arts center. He felt installing solar panels would send mixed messages to patrons focused on seeing progress on the new building.

Board President Randy Henderson noted none of the board members were opposed to the concept of converting to solar energy. The proposal as presented called for paying off the installation with savings over a 20-year period, on equipment with a 25-year warranty. Henderson said the district has no reassurance that the energy rebate through Empire District Electric will remain in place to back the undertaking. He wanted something in writing from the energy company.

Chancellor said he told the representative from Brightergy, who pitched the program to the school board, that a 20-year pay-off was “too long.” The payment pay was also different from the one offered to the Pierce City school district, due to a geographic division in what could be offered.

Chancellor noted the payment plan initially proposed had a variable interest rate and a large final payment, making the district ineligible for the state’s energy conservation program. The company was preparing another proposal.

“I’m still interested,” said Ed Mareth, board member.

Board members agreed to let the matter rest and revisit it at a later date.

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