Montpelier approves district heating project

By Staff | October 08, 2012

The Montpelier, Vt., city council has elected to move forward with a district heating project that will replace an old, state-owned plant with a new biomass plant, but the road to approval was not simple.

The council originally voted in favor of the new plant in June 2011, but rescinded its plans in a 4-2 vote Aug. 22, citing concerns about financial risks. The local community was not happy with the decision. According to Gwendolyn Hallsmith, director of planning and community development for Montpelier, the city council experienced significant voter outrage due to its decision to axe the project.

The negative public reaction prompted Mayor John Hollar to call a special meeting Aug. 29, where the city council reversed its decision and voted to continue with the project, including changes to address financial concerns. Final determination of the project size will be made after construction bids are received in November.