HANOVER - Bids were opened earlier this month for the Solar Photovoltaic System to be installed at the Hanover Town Hall, but the topic was tabled at the last town board meeting due to some questions regarding applicable warranties.
Those questions were answered Monday night and the board voted unanimously to accept the bid from Solar Liberty in the amount of $149,943.
The other bidder, Star Energy, submitted a lower bid of $142,500.
According to Supervisor Kathy Tampio, Star Energy was determined to be an unqualified bidder because it was ineligible for an incentive from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Solar Liberty is eligible for the incentive, which means the cost to the Town will be reduced by $125,000, resulting in a net cost of $24,943.
The Solar Photovoltaic System is expected to cut the Town's energy costs in half and implementation is expected to take place this fall.
The board also voted to authorize Tampio to execute an Electric Co-Operative Purchasing Agreement with Erie County.
The board anticipates this agreement will reduce electric costs by at least 15 percent annually.
"I just to want to say how pleased I am that the board supports two important initiatives that will lower the energy cost to the Town of Hanover, which will ultimately lower the cost to the citizens that provide the tax base to support our energy cost," Tampio said.
Hanover resident Dana Bennett asked the board to grant him a historical barn exemption. Bennett is restoring the barn on his property at 469 Route 39 in Forestville after receiving a grant which he believes will cover about half the expenses of the project.
Assessor Karen Bowker said in order to qualify for the exemption, a barn must have been built prior to 1936 and it must have been originally designed and used for agriculture or livestock. Though the property does not need to continue to be used for these purposes, it cannot be used as a residence. According to Bowker, Bennett's barn meets these qualifications.
If the exemption is approved, it will only apply to the increase in the assessment once the restoration is completed, which Bowker believes will be minimal. The taxes on that amount would be 100 percent exempt in the first year, and then reduced by 10 percent each subsequent year. After 10 years, the property would be taxed at the full rate.
There have been no exemptions of this kind in the town up to this point. The board plans to move forward with the process and a public hearing will likely be held in the future.
The board will again on Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m.