By Diana Bowley of the Bangor Daily News: DEXTER - What began as an effort to install a small hydroelectric facility on a dam near Lake Wassookeag has mushroomed into an effort to make energy improvements throughout municipal government.
Historical society members last summer had gathered information to submit a grant proposal to pay for the small hydro facility on the dam behind the former Abbott mill, according to Ann Kendall, one of the organizers.
The Public Utilities Commission was offering grants for such purposes, but the submission of the grant proposal was tabled because the ownership of the mill had changed, Kendall said.
"What surprised me is how enthusiastic people were with the idea," Kendall said.
Building on that interest, the Town Council agreed earlier this month to form an alternative energy committee.
Some residents have met twice and will meet again at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, in the council chambers. The meetings are open to the public and comment is encouraged, according to Kendall, who serves as the committee’s coordinator.
Kendall said Bucksport and Saco have undertaken similar studies and energy improvements, so Dexter will grow on their experiences. She said a group went to Saco to see its operations and have talked with Bucksport officials regarding its effort.
The Dexter committee’s main thrust is to evaluate the town’s energy use and its physical resources, including the landfill.
Kendall said the committee would investigate the potential use of wind power, hydroelectric power, solar, biomass, as well as geothermal energy and how to make realistic and practical changes for the community. Energy audits and finding improvements for existing facilities and vehicles will be part of the committee’s efforts.
Committee members hope the town effort will spur local residents and businesses to do the same.
"The seed has been planted and has begun to show signs of sprouting and so we’re going to nurture it," Kendall said.
For information contact Kendall at 277-4901.
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