By Katie V. Jones
October 23, 2011
The town of Sykesville is hoping nature and its power will be the answer to some of its power problems.
Whether it be geothermal, wind or solar power, town officials are collecting bid proposals to create a renewable energy source for the town's use at the Public Works Building, the Sykesville Police Station and the Sykesville Town House.
Tapping a renewable energy source is an idea town officials have been talking about for the past six years, according to town manager Matt Candland.
He said that by creating a long-term, dependable source of energy, the town can decrease its "carbon footprint" and save both the town and the taxpayers' money.
"Technology has reached a point where it is more economically feasible and the savings can be significant," Candland said. "That's why we're interested in it."
As a historic building, the Town Hall's exterior cannot be altered, so solar panels are out of the question. The town is also not located in a "wind friendly area," said Candland. The possibility of geothermal energy might be the most plausible, Candland said, though he thinks the Public Works Building would be an ideal candidate for solar panels.
"It has clear exposure to both the summer and winter sun," Candland said.
Already, the town has taken steps to be more energy efficient, changing traditional light bulbs to fluorescent and adding insulation where needed. The town has also discussed adding pellet stoves.
"We've done the low hanging fruit," Candland said. "The easier things to do."
The town is fielding ideas from contractors, and proposals must include the design, financing plans and construction for the renewable energy array.
"We're looking forward to receiving them," Candland said. "There are a lot of very capable companies out there."
A pre-bid meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. for bidders to come, see the buildings and ask questions, Candland said. All proposals must be submitted by Nov. 3, with bids presented at the mayor and town council meeting on Nov. 10.
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