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Indian Lake is going solar

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - Updated: 8:57 PM


Express News Staff

BLUE MT. LAKE -- The Indian Lake Town Board is counting on Mr. Sun to help lower the town's electric bills.

The board approved a power purchase agreement with Larsen Engineering, Rochester, when it met in the Blue Mt. Lake Fire Hall Monday, Aug. 11.

Under the agreement Larsen will install solar panels on town property across from the water plant on Chain Lakes Road. Larsen will own, operate and maintain the system and sell the power to the town for the next 30 years.

Initially there was some discussion about choosing outright purchase and installation of the system, as recommended by Councilman Jack Valentine, who did the research for the board.

Valentine pointed out the savings over 30 years would be greater with outright purchase: $277,000 over and above the cost of financing vs. $202,000 under the power purchase agreement.

Valentine said it would cost about $206,000 to purchase a solar system, but the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority would pick up 30 percent of the cost to finance it over 20 years.

Bottom line: Indian Lake would gain an extra $75,000 in savings over 30 years by having its own solar system, but it would incur about $144,200 in debt to be paid over 20 years. The idea of this debt worried board members.

Supervisor Brian Wells said these are tight budget times, with the tax cap on the 2015 budget expected to be 1.56 percent and a new bargaining agreement that will result in town employee pay raises of 2 percent.

Valentine agreed tough economic times require caution, and the board unanimously voted to go with the power purchase agreement that will not cause any cost or economic risk for the town but will save $202,000 on electricity over 30 years.


Two bids were received for the two-year contract (2015 - 2016) to collect garbage and recyclables.

Robert E. LaVergne & Sons, North Creek, bid $118,000 to collect garbage and $72,000 to collect recyclables. Justin Moore, Indian Lake, bid $112,875 for garbage collection and $43,900 for recyclables.

The board awarded the contract to Moore.


The town will advertise for qualifications from consultants interested in performing design services for rehabilitation of the Lake Abanakee Dam. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced July 21 the State of New York would pay $750,000 of the estimated project cost of $1.2 million to rehabilitate Abanakee Dam.

Although the dam is not in imminent danger of failure, a recent problem, fixed by town employees, prevented water from being released for rafting.

The dam consists of a concrete gravity system with a manually operated gate. The gate has malfunctioned in recent years, and the town would like to update it for easier, more consistent operation.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has put the town on notice that it needs to repair and upgrade the dam to bring it into compliance with NYS dam safety regulations.

The design consultant will assess design alternatives, develop contract specifications for bidding, permitting and construction. Bids are due by 4 p.m. Sept. 8.

The dam created Lake Abanakee, provides water for white-water rafting, and could provide hydropower in the future. A failure would endanger property and lives downstream in North Creek.


-- The town will advertise for engineering firms interested in planning upgrades to the Abanakee Dam on the Indian River.

-- The town will advertise for bids to be opened Sept. 8 from those interested in a three-year lease of town property off Chain Lakes Road to set up a sugar bush.

-- Two property owners in Blue Mt. Lake have expressed some willingness in allowing drilling for water on their land. The town needs to find a groundwater source to replace the lake as the municipal water supply there.

-- Wells reported American Legion Parker Benton Post 1392 needs people to help collect bottles and cans at the transfer station, its main source of revenue. Call Ken Cannan at 648-5624.

The next regular meeting of the town board will be Monday, Sept. 8, starting at 7 p.m.


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