Village of Thomaston Village Hall and restaurant prepare for new look

Village of Thomaston Village Hall and restaurant prepare for new look
The Village of Thomaston has started the process of obtaining solar panels for Village Hall and the Department of Public Works. (Screencapture by Karina Kovac)

The Village of Thomaston has started the first stages of acquiring solar panels to power key municipal buildings.

Mayor Steve Weinberg announced during a board of trustees meeting on Aug. 14 that the village is working on a bid package to make Village Hall and the Department of Public Works energy self-sufficient through the installation of solar panels.

“We’re retaining consultants to put together a bid package for a request for proposal to install solar panels on Village Hall,” Weinberg said. “So, we’re only at the first step of the process.”

The move is expected to not only result in cost savings but also contribute to the village’s broader commitment to environmental responsibility.

In addition to Village Hall, there are plans to explore the installation of solar panels for the Department of Public Works. The department operates on a separate energy meter, and while the panels might not be affixed to the building itself, the intention is to boost energy efficiency.

The anticipated timeline for the solar panel installation is during the upcoming spring, alongside the installation of a new roof for Village Hall.

The project aims to produce more energy than the buildings require. However, the success of panels is contingent on weather conditions. Should the panels not generate sufficient kilowatts, the village would need to rely on the traditional energy grid and buy energy from PSEG Long Island.

Weinberg underscored the significance of sharing information and experiences with other villages.

“The more information we share, the more we can then save costs, and save expenses and obviously, save our residents tax dollars,” he stated.

The village retained the services of Nelson + Pope, a multi-disciplined engineering, architecture, and surveying partnership, to provide specialized expertise in the development of the solar panel installation plan.

Upon installation, the village is projected to save approximately $7,500 to $8,000 annually. Weinberg expressed confidence that even if the savings fall short initially, any discrepancies will eventually resolve themselves over time.

This effort aligns with Thomaston’s history of adopting innovative energy solutions.

A decade ago, the village was a frontrunner in introducing LED lighting to its infrastructure. This successful transition led to a significant reduction in the village’s electric bill by nearly two-thirds.

In addition to Village Hall, the Seven Seas Diner on 607 Northern Blvd. is also undergoing a transformation into a Greek restaurant called Paros Taverna.

At the meeting, the new design and façade were approved subject to verification that the mural does not pose a safety concern.

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