Community Update: Honor crossing guards during Recognition Week, January 22-26, McMillan solar installation already paying dividends



Honor crossing guards during Recognition Week, January 22-26

As Mayor, I am proud to, once again, call on all or citizens to carve out time to honor those responsible for ensuring safe passage for some of our most precious citizens: our children. Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week takes place January 22-26.

These dedicated, caring and thoughtful individuals deserve appreciation from parents, neighbors, law enforcement officials and motorists. They navigate traffic and inclement weather to guide young people, and help to teach them safe pedestrian behaviors – lessons that will continue to impact their lives as they grow older.

Parents, teachers, students and school administrators can draw from these special-activity ideas to recognize the adults who serve as crossing guards in our area. Electronic versions of the 2017 Crossing Guard Recognition poster also are available for local printing, here.

Please use Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week as your opportunity to express your gratitude for the individuals who help keep our young ones safe, to and from school.

McMillan solar installation already paying dividends


McMillan Memorial Library Director Andy Barnett has been very involved in the solar initiative at the library.

Last summer, McMillan Memorial Library displayed leadership in pursuing a cost-efficient future fueled by sustainable energy, with the installation of roof the largest solar power production unit in central Wisconsin. The library’s Board partnered with locally owned Viking Electric to install the 235 kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar array.

From the time the array went active through the end of the year, it produced approximately 55,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), with 10,000 kWhs being used by the community. Even in the relatively “dark” months of November (28 percent) and December (11 percent), the array produced a significant amount of the electricity the library uses.

McMillan Library purchases the power at a reduced rate from Viking Electric, which sells any power not consumed by the library to Wisconsin Rapids Water Works & Lighting (WWLC) for community use. Especially on sunny days, and on Sundays when the library is closed, this renewable energy replaces fossil-fuel-based electricity the utility would otherwise purchase. A financial analysis performed by WWLC staff indicates that this investment can save McMillan Library more than $300,000 in operational costs.

Viking Electric funded 70 percent of the cost and owns the solar array for the first six years and benefits from various tax credits. Once the tax credits are expired, McMillan will purchase the project or about 30 percent of the original cost, which the library plans to finance through an ongoing fundraising campaign. A generous donor has pledged to match all contributions, so it the library is already more than half the way to funding the eventual purchase of the project.

As the first and only solar installation on a City building, the McMillan Memorial Library demonstrates the power of renewable energy, providing an educational opportunity while saving taxpayer dollars.

ICYMI: 17 Best of 2017! Video here; full list here.

Thank you for reading.

Mayor Zach Vruwink