C. Murray called the meeting to order at 10:15.
C. Utton made the motion to approve the use of up to $25,000 to replace our current heating system. This was seconded.
P. Plagge explained the history of the heating system dating from installation in 1991 (a second furnace was replaced in 2008). Hot air furnaces typically have a life of twenty years. Several times a winter, the furnace to the sanctuary had failed and needed to be reset, usually on the coldest nights when the system couldn’t keep up with oil demand.
The building committee decided to explore propane and found that the cost of replacing both furnaces would cost $11,464 (only slightly more than a quote from 2007 for $11,420).
By their calculations, switching to propane will save $1,000 on the church’s heating bill. Though propane delivers fewer btu’s per gallon, propane is 60% the cost of oil and the old furnaces operate at only about 80% efficiency. Though heating will call for more gallons of propane than oil, the new furnaces will operate at 95.5% efficiency.
Also the oil tank must also be addressed as it is buried and is 27 years old. The risk of leaks becomes significant after 20 years. Ross Environmental in Stowe gave us a $3,450 quote for tank removal for an empty tank with no major leaks. If leaks were discovered, the clean-up would be subsidized by a federal program as well as insurance coverage depending on the seriousness of the leak. The cost in that case should only run from $250-500.
There are plans for Bourne’s Energy to replace the 250-gallon propane tank with a larger one for fewer/larger deliveries. Ross Environmental would coordinate with Bourne’s once the old tank has been removed.
Our endowment/investments did very well in 2017 and it seems an excellent time to realize those gains by replacing the furnaces now.
Questions were asked about timing (hopefully August), oil currently in the tank (due to sludge in the bottom, the oil could not be sold and has been all burned off), and whether any principal would be touched to complete the project (it would not as the gains that have been realized were banked and are now available).
When brought to a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:10.
Respectfully submitted, Jill Chase, Clerk