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To The Editor:
I attended the Monday night Waitsfield Select Board meeting to hear the cost estimates for three proposed town office plans: the Farm Stand and two variations of the Methodist Church. I was surprised regarding projected energy costs across the three proposals.
Like a car, initial purchase price and the cost to operate over time are important considerations when calculating the full cost of ownership. The future performance of a building design can be accurately measured and this work has been done for three potential town office designs. The numbers are dramatic and they matter; heating costs over a 20-year period range from a low of $9,000 for the Farm Stand design to $80,000 for one of the church designs.
The church's energy performance standards could be improved, but ongoing heating costs would still be about double the cost of the Farm Stand, adding more costs, short and long term, to an already expensive building choice.
Energy prices change and it's prudent and reasonable to assume they will generally increase –perhaps dramatically – over the years ahead. Given this, we are wise to minimize the impact of rising costs over the long term when given the opportunity.
The Farm Stand option is clearly the best choice when looking at purchase, construction and operating costs.
By voting in the affirmative for the Farm Stand bond vote, we will be doing great service to future generations and saving future taxpayers considerable sums of money by building to the highest energy performance standards.