A $290,000 contribution from the town may be required to extend natural gas lines up Wolfpit Road to the Miller-Driscoll School, First Selectman Bill Brennan announced Monday, April 6.
However, the contribution might be offset by savings within the Miller-Driscoll renovation project.
Turner Construction representatives estimate the town would avoid $200,000 worth of construction costs associated with the installation of oil tanks and burners if natural gas was expanded, though it remains unclear how expensive natural gas burners would be.
While the first selectman sees the project as a natural next step, Selectman Jim Saxe expressed hesitancy at the request — saying he wasn’t sure whether it was the town’s will to expand natural gas lines further. Three and a half miles of pipeline was laid last summer to bring natural gas through Wilton Center and up Route 7 to Middlebrook School, Comstock Community Center, Cider Mill School, and Wilton High School.
Mr. Brennan said even ignoring the $200,000 cost avoidance, a review by the Wilton Energy Commission said the town would see a “five-year positive cash flow” by switching from oil to natural gas.
A decision has to be made soon, Selectman Dick Dubow said, as the Miller-Driscoll architects “are up against a wall” and are currently designing the location and type of boilers to be put in.
“We have to have that answer for them,” Brennan said.