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Trade News

West Branch briefed on boiler

West Branch Area School Board heard from Michael Palko of the
Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry about the pros and cons of biomass
boilers during last night’s meeting. Palko said in the long run, having a
biomass boiler would save the district money. Palko said the Sullivan
County School District saves around $133,000 due to the changeover.
also said should the district go through with the biomass boiler
project, they would be using wood chips as their source of energy. This
would be cheaper to use than using propane and/or No. 2 heating oil. The
closest school to West Branch that has a biomass boiler would be the
former Clearfield Area Middle School, and there are numerous other
districts in Pennsylvania that have gone to biomass boilers.
asked if there were any cons to a biomass boiler, Palko said they’re
expensive to install. Usually when installing one, Palko said most
districts or other entities rely on grants to fund a majority of the
project, which West Branch would also be doing. Other problems with
biomass boilers are they take a lot of space, and the district would
probably be forced to keep an old boiler for backup purposes.
order to efficiently run the boiler, 738 tons of wood chips would be
needed over the course of a year. Superintendent Michelle Dutrow thanked
Palko for presenting information to the board.
She said the McClure
Co. would be giving a presentation dealing with costs at the upcoming
board finance committee meeting, which is slated for this evening at 6
p.m. in the high school library.
In other news, the board approved the following actions:
creating the position of secondary library clerk and then hiring Susan
Folmar at the rate of $14 an hour. This will be a part-time, permanent
position without benefits.
l a paid leave of absence for teacher Angela Lucas around Oct. 22 for approximately 12 weeks.
l van, bus drivers, and bus stop listings for the 2014-15 school year.
l the resignation of Dave Learish as head baseball coach.


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