Energy-efficiency rebate helps pay for Miller-Driscoll expenses

Finding money to pay for unexpected items that cannot be covered by construction bonds got easier Jan. 12 for the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee.
An expense of $2,500 that purchased vases full of fresh flowers for the reopening of the pre-kindergarten through second grade school with a new addition last October will be covered by an unexpected windfall. A total of $25,000 will be set aside from the windfall, from the Eversource electric company, will be held to pay for any other non-bondable expenses that come up during the school year, according to an unanimous vote of the committee.
The committee met at the Wilton High School library and learned from Chris Burney, a member who is also the facilities director for the town and schools, that Eversource has given the town a $220,000 incentive rebate because the Miller-Driscoll building is so energy efficient.
Burney told the other members the Board of Selectmen recommends they use the money to help pay their bonded debt, and they agreed to that during their meeting, with the exception of holding $25,000 back to pay for non-bondable expenses.
Those expenses would probably be associated with a grand opening when the entire project is finished, the vice chairman, Glenn Hemmerle, said.
“I have no idea what to expect or what we might spend. That’s the only thing i can think of between now and September that might fall into this category,” Hemmerle said.
“That seems like a sufficient amount,” said Selectman Richard Dubow, who is a member of the committee as well.
The committee has its own forward-thinking to thank for the money.
“This building was designed to be energy efficient, and we strove to be an extremely efficient building,” Burney said. “Well, the utility company has a program to reward you for being efficient.”
It was the second time in the week that the Miller-Driscoll bond payments got an unexpected boost. On Jan. 9, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to use $845,000 in unused surplus from the Comstock Community Center improvement project to pay the Miller-Driscoll debt.