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Dormont passes on solar idea at rec center

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Dormont Council turned down one member's request to consider adding solar panels to the recreation center at the borough's swimming pool, noting that officials had bigger priorities.

Councilman John Maggio requested council seek contractors' proposals for installing solar panels on the roof of the Thomas Lloyd Recreation Center and possibly on a series of canopies that would be built over the pool's parking lot. Contractors would pay for installation of the panels, then sell the electricity they generate back to the borough, Maggio said.

“It would save us money, it would decrease our carbon footprint, and it will make us a community leader,” Maggio said. “If we had a more progressive council, maybe that would have been a better time.”

But Council President Bill McCartney, who was reappointed by council on Monday, said the borough had other capital projects that should take priority.

A larger renovation of the rec center, for example, would need to be done before the solar installation so the panels wouldn't need to be removed and reinstalled, he said.

“We've got too much on our plate to move off and do something else without a lot of planning,” McCartney said. “It doesn't preclude us from doing it sometime in the future, just not this year.”

The motion to issue a request for proposals failed, 1-6, on Monday with Maggio casting the only vote in favor.

Collier installed a similar system at the township's Department of Public Works building in late 2012 after about a year of discussions. Scalo Solar Solutions of Thornburg installed the panels and charges the township a reduced rate for the power they produce. Officials said the building is capable of producing more power than it consumes.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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