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Aldermen talk budget; eye solar deal, lighting of falls

VERGENNES — At their May 28 meeting, Vergennes aldermen began consideration of a proposed city spending plan for next year.
In other business, aldermen:
•  Authorized City Manager Mel Hawley to sign an agreement with Burlington firm Encore Redevelopment for a solar array to be placed on the city’s sewer treatment plant property that will generate 150 kilowatts a year of power. Officials said the deal is pending on Encore accepting changes the city has proposed to the company’s initial contract. If a deal is reached, as is expected, the city can save about $4,000 a year on its power bill.
•  Asked former mayor Mike Daniels to pursue private financing to fund lighting the Otter Creek falls this summer. But officials will also look into a permanent installation that the city would fund, possibly with help from grants, and they are obtaining estimates.
•  Heard from Mayor Bill Benton that the May 22 opera house forum that focused on a toddlers’ park and other recreation improvements drew almost 50 people and was productive. It was jointly sponsored by the city, the partnership and the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House.

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