Greenville residents reject federal grant for biomass facility

Posted June 21, 2011, at 10:43 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — Residents defeated a referendum question 2-to-1 Tuesday that essentially would have paved the way for school officials to install a biomass boiler in the Greenville High/Middle School.

The 166-336 vote rejected a $750,000 federal energy grant the town received to help pay for the $2.5 million biomass boiler and it defeated a move to extend the new heating system to the gymnasium.

The Greenville School Committee had unanimously supported the biomass boiler and held a groundbreaking for the proposed project last month to meet the federal grant deadline.

Residents voted last year to allow the school to bond up to $2 million for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrade in the school.

Tuesday’s referendum, an amendment to last year’s article, would have allowed the school to build an accessory building to house the biomass boiler and the chips, accept the federal grant and extend the project to the gymnasium.

Some residents, however, had expressed concerns earlier about the long-term savings and suggested that other options had not been investigated.

Residents on Tuesday did validate the school budget 300-194.

Elected to municipal offices were the following: Bruce Hanson (332 votes) and Bonita Dubien (370 votes) to the Board of Selectmen; and Mike Theriault (342 votes) and John Cobb (346 votes) to the Greenville School Committee. Incumbent Noel Wohlforth received 186 votes.

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