VERNON, CT — Mayor Daniel Champagne and the Vernon Town Council this week released an update on programs they say have resulted in a total projected taxpayer savings of more than $3 million.
The exact amount is $3,122,492.64. Here is a summary:
Municipal Bond Refinancing – Working closely with the Town’s Municipal Advisor and Bond Counsel, a refinancing of $19,160,000. in Vernon’s municipal bond debt was prepared and marketed to investors. As a result of the refinancing, the Town will save a total of $1,828,809.64 in principal and interest payments over the next 11 years.
Solar Energy Project – As part of Vernon's Sustainable Community initiative and to reduce energy costs, the Town of Vernon, Vernon Public Schools and the Energy Improvement District Board are preparing to install solar panels and carport canopies at the Vernon Police Department and over the new Center Road School parking lot. In addition, solar panels will be installed on a portion of the Northeast School roof and a free standing array will be located on the grounds of Lake Street School. The costs associated with construction of the carports and installation of the panels is included in a power purchase agreement with local solar installer, Earthlight Technologies. As a result of this agreement, the Town is projected to save $1,229,027.00 in energy costs over the next 25 years.
Municipal Solid Waste Disposal, Processing and Recycling Services – The Town has negotiated a 5-year tiered agreement for municipal refuse and recycling services with local provider Willimantic Waste Paper Inc. This contract was awarded as a result of a competitive bidding process and the Town will save $43,775.00 in refuse and recycling fees for the current fiscal year.
Risk Management Excellence – The Town recently earned $12,324.00 in reimbursement funding from the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA) of New Haven, CT for its risk management efficiencies. CIRMA provides liability insurance and risk management services to Vernon and other Connecticut municipalities, school districts, and local public agencies. The reimbursement was presented to Vernon as part of CIRMA’s Member Equity distribution program for fiscal year 2020. To date, the Town of Vernon and Vernon Public Schools have earned $153,846.00 through CIRMA’s Member Equity distribution program.
Firefighter and EMS Safety – The Town of Vernon has been awarded $8,557.00 in grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program for fiscal year 2020. The funding will be used to replace and acquire new personal protective equipment (PPE) that supports ongoing Fire and EMS Department operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.