The Dukes County commission agreed this week to consider buying electricity from a startup wind energy company.
The commission voted Wednesday to approve a memorandum of understanding with Plymouth-based energy company Future Generation Wind LLC.
The Future Generation project would put four wind turbines on a cranberry bog in Plymouth, selling electricity to towns across Cape Cod and the South Shore. Construction is set to begin in the fall. County manager Martina Thornton said if the county ultimately signs a contract with the group, it would result in at least 20 per cent savings on electric bills for the county administration building and courthouse, or roughly $5,000 a year over 20 years.
Ms. Thornton said she had met with members of the Island energy cooperative Vineyard Power, who recommended moving forward with the MOU.
Commissioners Leon Brathwaite and Tristan Israel agreed with the first step but said the county should do more research into energy resources before signing a binding contract with Future Generation Wind for 20 years.
“We ought to do some comparative shopping between now and then and if this is the way to go then let’s go for it,” Mr. Israel said.
In other business, Ms. Thornton reported that the Vineyard Health Care Access program had received a $5,000 mini-grant from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and a $7,500 grant from the Tower Foundation, both to be used for the program’s prescription fund. The Dukes County Health Council also received a hospital mini-grant of $5,000. The money will be used to help start a one-stop referral station for elder services.
The Veterans Administration contract has been renewed for 2014, and veterans agent Joann Murphy reported that everything is working smoothly, Ms. Thornton said.
“All but two veterans, from what I’m told, have primary care doctors on the Island and the two that don’t don’t want one,” she said.
Ms. Thornton also said a phase two of a project to repair the county courthouse windows will go out to bid again after two bids came in nearly double the amount allocated for the project. Meanwhile, she said 81 per cent of cost of the first phase of the window project will be reimbursed by the state. The money will be returned to Island towns that appropriated money from their Community Preservation Act funds.
Commissioners voted to name Leonard Jason Jr. as new chairman and Leon Brathwaite as vice-chairman, thanking exiting chairman Tom Hallahan for his leadership over the past year.