A project to construct a solar panel canopy over the Montville Township Public Library will be moving forward after it received a blessing from the Montville Township Committee Tuesday night.
According to Mayor Tim Braden, Morris County is spearheading and paying for the project. Braden said similar projects have been done at Mennen Arena and Randolph High School.
"This will be at no cost to us, but the township committee has to provide a resolution to move ahead with the developer," he said.
The library is expected to reduce electricity costs as a result of the solar panels, a savings of approximately $20,000 per year, Braden said. The panels would be installed for 15 years through the Morris County program, but the timeframe could be extended at a later date. The Montville library project, as well as solar panel projects at the high school and Lazar Middle School, are part of the county improvement authority's solar initiative to generate more than $3.8 million in savings over 15 years.
Township Attorney Martin Murphy said that while the library property is owned by the township, the Montville Township Public Library Board of Trustees has full control of the parking lot. But Murphy thought the township committee should indicate in writing that the members support the project.
"I think it's appropriate, if you are in favor of supporting this, that we adopt a resolution," he said.
Township Administrator Victor Canning said the county would want to ensure both entities agree and that there would but no issue moving forward.
"I don't think they want to get in the middle of political infighting where the trustees are making one decision and the town committee has no knowledge of it," Canning said.
Township committee members were in agreement with the project as long as it did not cost taxpayers any money, which Braden assured them it would not. Braden also said the timing of the project is suitable because of the technology involved.
"People were concerned about the technology and the fact that solar technology is ever-evolving, but we were informed that the curb on solar technology is starting to level out so its a good time to do it," he said.