The Johnston School Committee accepted a check for $100,000 from the Central Landfill power plant at its June 14 meeting in the library.
State Sen. John Lombardo and Reps. Stephen Ucci, Deborah Fellela, and John Carnevale attended the meeting to ceremoniously receive the check issued by Broadrock Renewables, LLC.
“Fortunately for us, Broadrock Renewables came along and came up with a plan with the landfill, that they were going to put in an entirely new methane collection system at the landfill,” Ucci said. That gas will then be piped to a new, high-efficiency power plant.
Randy Holmes, Chief Executive Officer for Broadrock Renewables, LLC said: “There has been a lot of excess gas at that landfill for many, many years — it was always difficult to add additional generating capacity, and gas was burned up and sent into the atmosphere with no beneficial use.”
This landfill plant, which is estimated to be operational by early 2013, will be the second largest landfill gas plant in the country.
Holmes explained that his company was able to get a power contract approved in six weeks, where such contracts usually take years. He credited the help of state and local officials with speeding the process, and presented the $100,000 check as an initial “thank you."
Broadrock will continue to donate $50,000 a year for the next 10 years to the local school district.
In a press release, Ucci explained that the money will go into the district's Renewable Energy Fund, intended to help fund building improvements, as well as sports programs, textbooks, and extracurricular activities.
Also on June 14, the school committee unanimously approved a contract for the 2011-2012 school year to Aramark for school meals. Aramark absorbed an $18,000 deficit in the current year, and Manager Jessica Patriola said the company is projecting a $5,000 surplus for next year.
The board also tabled two items: a proposal for a new three-year bus contract, and a plan to hire ADP to handle payroll.
A special school committee meeting is scheduled for June 29 to revisit these items and to discuss the town council's recent approval of $500,000 to replace the boiler at Johnston High School.