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PLAN TO SAVE ENERGY CALLED REVENUE-RAISER

The Eden Central School Board is studying a proposed $1.7 million energy-savings project that a contractor says could end up generating an additional $1.82 million for the district over 18 years.

In a work session Thursday, the board reviewed a preliminary estimate from Landis & Staefa Inc. of Tonawanda, which pegs first-year net energy savings at $48,902, with the savings rising in each succeeding year over the life of the project.

Trustees said the project is needed but delayed making a decision in favor of further study.

The board also is awaiting a proposal from the district's Technology Committee, which is assembling a revised technology bond proposal, which might incorporate such an energy-efficiency project.

Trustee William Fedchak, a proponent of the energy plan, sees it as a plus for the district.

"Right now, we're flushing almost $9,000 a month down the toilet in wasted savings, and we've been doing it all year," he said.

If the energy project gets the go-ahead, the board would have to borrow $1.7 million and finance it over 10 years.

Some trustees said they favor coordinating the energy-savings project with the a technology-bond project, viewing it as a means of applying money from energy savings to offset the cost to taxpayers of new technology.

"Is it not better to have all of your oars in the water at the same time . . .?" Trustee Karen Smith said. "I think coordination is the big key here."

Board president Barbara Abraham agreed. "We can do both of these," she said.

However, Mrs. Abraham said if both projects can't be done at the same time, she favors funding technology first.

"I'm really concerned about the energy, but if I have to make a choice, I'd take technology in a heartbeat," she said. "Our kids can wear coats if it gets cold. They can't do state-mandated programs without computers."

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