Solar Array Proposal for Holly School Tabled by Town Board

The Holly Town Board dealt with a diverse agenda during their monthly meeting, this past Wednesday, September 7. 

Several items were tabled until additional information was available; including electric service at the Holly landfill and a proposal from resident Josh Reinert for the use of a portion of Pine Street which is landlocked.  Another matter was also tabled, although it prompted an involved discussion between Rick Rigel, acting general manager of ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority, and Joe Bedford and Rick Moats, representing Adolfson & Peterson Construction Company.    The company has applied for a $180,000 grant to construct an electricity generating solar array for the new Holly school which will produce 100 kilowatts of power.  The issue concerns future billing percentages on a net metering agreement among the town, the construction company and ARPA when the array comes on line.  The matter was tabled as Holly Town Administrator Marsha Willhite was not able to attend the meeting.   Board members decided to conduct a workshop session on all the financial ramifications of the proposal prior to their October board meeting. 

Vance Brian, Field Services Supervisor told the board the water main on 6th Street has been repaired, replacing the old, 6 inch cast-iron water main, which will end the colored water going through the pipe.  Roto-mill has been used to fill in various potholes around the town and two hydraulic lines have been replaced on the trash truck.  Some of the lids to the trash bins around town have been bowing out.  Brian explained that when the bins are dumped into the truck, the lids are forced against a restraining bar which causes the bend in the material.  The town’s well were recently checked by a LAWMA representative and are in good shape. 

The town is moving ahead with an electronic bill payment system.  Town Clerk, Mary Rushton explained the agreement with SIPA, Statewide Internet Portal Authority which helps get communities online for bill payments.  There is a user fee for the service, amounting to less than a dollar per online transaction or with credit cards, and only $1 when ‘echecks’ are issued.  Rushton said fewer accounts are being paid by direct mail or in person.  Other financial matters included approval of $4,635 for Amanda Brown, who conducted the 2011 Municipal Audit, as well as $700 for an audit on the town’s solid waste facility.  Municipal Budget Consulting Services will be billed at hourly rates.  Rushton said a $3,700 fee for flood plain mapping for the town would come from the General Fund.  Due to the fee increases enacted this past summer, the RV park had revenues of $3,400 against $2,900 in expenses; Building Permits generated $2,400 for the town against $1,400 in expenses and cost of electricity was up a bit in July, but delinquent payments didn’t show that much of a deviation from past months.  The municipal pool earned $12,000 for the summer against $26,000 in expenses. 

The town board approved the dance license for the Holly Gateway Fair Board.  The dance will be held September 24.  The board suggested the town have an increased police presence in the community during the dance and the fair.  There was brief discussion but no solutions to the increased costs of providing first run movies at the Holly Theater.  Movie providers are switching to digital production and distribution, and the devices won’t work on the current theater projectors.  By comparison, it was noted that Syracuse, KS recently completed a fund drive to raise $90,000 to update their theater with new equipment and Holly’s costs would be comparable.  Further discussion was tabled for a later date. 

Calvin Melcher suggested the board look at funding to improve the gravel runway at the municipal airport.  Melcher said that due to fires in the region this past summer, the town may have to accommodate water tankers, and the airport’s gravel runway is not up to standards for safe landings and take off.  Donna Davis with the Colorado State Forest Service provided an update on a regional wildfire protection plan.  Rural communities are documenting what are considered ‘fuel spots’ for potential fires in a six mile burn radius around a town or city.  Some towns, she said, are using grants to fund fire alert signage along county roads and highways and fire marshals and rural fire chiefs are establishing fire mitigation plans within the six mile area.

By Russ Baldwin  


Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEducationFeaturedHolly


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.