RFQ – Forestry, Wildlife, Inventory & Management

Groton Utilities (“GU”) is seeking services of a Contractor (hereafter referred to as the “CONSULTANT”) for technical assistance with the preparation of a Forestry Inventory and Management Plan (“FIMP”) for its watershed properties. It is the intent of GU to generate, through this process, a comprehensive Forestry Management Plan that includes an inventory of its existing forest areas and a plan for its future management, including but not limited to, corresponding financials.

A mandatory project review will be conducted at the GU Operations Complex Conference Room (1240 Poquonnock Road, Groton, CT 06340) on November 20, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Subsequent to the review, those wishing to conduct a field inspection of the existing forested watershed areas will be accompanied by GU staff through the primary reservoir areas, through which any future trees harvested will be moved through interior access roads.

Closing Date:

Qualification statements will be accepted no later than 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 30, 2018 at the Project Management Office of the Groton Utilities Operations Complex, 1240 Poquonnock Road, Groton, CT 06340.

Interview:

Following the review of submittals by qualified firms, GU staff will choose three (3) firms for interviews; these interviews will be conducted on December 12, 2018, prior to making a final decision. It is our intent to award the project by February 6, 2018 utilizing section 6.0 Timeline as guidance.

Point of Contact:

Feel free to contact Project Manager – Water, Doug LaFontaine at 860-446-4047 or lafontained@grotonutilities.com with any questions or to request field inspections.

 

City Cabaret Announces 2019 Schedule

Cabaret Logo

Come hear the music play!  The schedule for City Cabaret 2019 has been finalized.  The fourteenth season kicks off in January.

All City Cabaret concerts are held in the City of Groton Auditorium at 295 Meridian Street in the City of Groton on Sundays at 3:00 p.m., January through March.

The City Cabaret concert series is co-sponsored and co-produced by Groton Utilities and the City of Groton Parks and Recreation Department.

The Mass-Conn-Fusion Duo will kick off the City Cabaret 2019 season on Sunday, January 13.  The Duo pairs the up-right bass, played by Jim Healy, with saxophone, played by Liz Roberts. This unique combination separates them from the crowd. “All styles of music are fair game from Take 5 to Maroon 5,” the Duo says.  “We enjoy bringing a sense of humor and a touch of class to all we do.”

The OBrien String Trio will be featured February 10. The classical string trio plays everything from “Bach to Broadway.” The trio consists of Kate O’Brien on the violin, Lydia Leizman on the viola, and Corinne Cunha on the cello. The group will play a variety of music, including classical, and Kate O’Brien’s original arrangements of popular, ethnic and fiddling styles.

Whisky, Wine and Coke will perform on March 10. The band is a musical trio with two lead singers, Renee Morehouse and Dave Warner, along with guitarist Dean Cardinale.  In addition to the Coyote River Band set list, the trio does cover songs by The Beatles, Carly Simon, James Taylor, The Eagles, Etta James and much more.

Dessert, coffee and bottle water will be available for purchase from the Fitch High School Alcohol and Drug Free Party Committee.

The concerts are free. No alcohol is allowed. The concert info line is (860) 446-4129.

Robert “Bob” Zuliani begins Term as City Utilities Commissioner

Bob ZulianiRobert “Bob” Zuliani, a retired accountant, former City Councilor, and a former member of the Board of Education, has begun a new career as a policy maker for the City of Groton’s electric, water, and sewer businesses.

He is now a member of the City of Groton Utilities Commission, which sets policy for Groton Utilities’ three major businesses – electric, water and sewer services. Together their revenues are budgeted for fiscal year 2019 at 70 million dollars.

Zuliani is truly a local. “I never left,” he quips. “I’m home grown. I was educated here, married here, retired here. I lived all my life here in Groton.”

Local also translates to commitment. Zuliani has been active in the Greater Groton Community since his graduation from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

Early on after his return home from college, he became involved in the community, serving two terms as a City of Groton Councilor from 1975-79.

He noted the Zuliani name was quite recognizable locally, because his father operated an Italian restaurant called Vic’s at the edge of what is now the Groton Shopping Plaza for a decade in the 1940s and 1950s. Zuliani laughed when telling the tale, because he says that he was not sure whether the people were voting for him or his dad, since his father had a respectable reputation in the restaurant business.

“This first local political experience started me out learning about local government,” he explained. “I learned about the relationship between the City Council and the utilities, and then about the City-Town relationship.” He explained that it helped that he was an accountant, as he educated himself about the workings of local government. This was especially relevant in trying to understand the city’s annual request to the Town of Groton for highway and police funding.

Zuliani’s career as an accountant lasted 30 years. He worked 15 years in the public accounting field, and then 15 years in corporate accounting. Then he left his working days behind, retiring at 55 in 2000.

His appointment to the City of Groton Utilities Commission is interesting in that he is a Republican, and City Mayor Keith Hedrick, who chairs the commission, is a Democrat. “I think the mayor was interested in that I had a long career in finance,” Zuliani explained. “I believe the mayor is looking to bring a variety of critical skills, backgrounds and experiences to the Utilities Commission.”

He was a member of the Groton Board of Education from 1995-2003, serving as chairperson of the Board’s Finance Committee.

He also served as Business Education Program Chairman for the Mystic Oral School Advisory Committee. He is also a past member of the Groton Jaycees and the Town of Groton Enterprise Zone Advisory Committee.

Zuliani and service extended beyond the local boarders. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, serving in Saigon, Vietnam.

His service to the community also includes serving on the Board of Trustees of the Bill Memorial Library and the Colonel Ledyard Cemetery Association, both in the City of Groton. You guessed it. He serves as treasurer for both groups.

Zuliani also is on the City of Groton Ethics Board and is its sitting chairperson.

Local is again relevant, as he is a parishioner of Sacred Heart Church of Groton.

Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate – Public Forum

The Connecticut Public Act 17-73 requires that the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate convene an annual public forum on the second Wednesday in October, “for the purpose of describing the recent activities of the Municipal Electric Consumer Advocate and receiving feedback from consumers.” That forum will  be held on October 10, 2018, at 7:30 pm, at the headquarters of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, 30 Stott Ave, Norwich, CT.

Electric Vehicle Pilot Rebate Program

Electric Car ChargingGroton Utilities has started a limited time, pilot rebate program for the acquisition of plug in electric cars (EVPI).  How does it work, you may ask?

The program provides a $2,000 rebate for the first 20 electric vehicle purchases by Groton Utilities and Bozrah Light & Power customers, and a $1,000 rebate for the first 20 electric vehicle leases by Groton Utilities and Bozrah Light & Power customers.

These rebates are available in addition to a Federal tax credit of $7,500 and a State of Connecticut $2,000 grant.  Within our local service area, Cardinal Honda and Girard Nissan are also offering rebates on their qualifying EVPI models.

The program also provides an additional rebate up to $600 for an approved Level 2 charging station.

Customers must meet the following eligibility requirements: 

  • Provide a copy of the most current Groton Utilities electric bill paid in full, i.e. showing a zero balance.
  • Provide a proof of purchase of either an electric hybrid plug-in vehicle or an electric plug-in vehicle from any dealer selling new qualified EVPIs.
  • Provide proof of a dedicated 240V circuit installed by a Connecticut licensed electrician and signed off electrical permit from the governing building inspector.
  • The customer must also pass a Groton Utilities post installation inspection.

Groton Utilities is, as always, at your service.

Home Energy Savings (HES) Residential Rebate Program updated

Groton Utilities is updating its Home Energy Savings (HES) Residential Rebate Program to encourage residential customers to become more energy efficient and save money on their utility bills. Whether you heat your home with electricity, oil, or propane, you will want to take advantage of this service.

When the energy technicians come to your home and perform this service, you will receive four (4) LEDs free, if you have not participated in a HES Program earlier.

The HES program services, which are valued at approximately $1000, include:

• Up to 25 additional high efficiency light bulbs;
• Blower door testing and on-the-spot air sealing to eliminate drafts;
• Duct sealing to reduce duct loss (if you have a central system);
• Domestic hot water measures such as shower heads and aerators; and
• Health and safety testing

Groton Utilities will require a customer contribution of $100 for single family residents and a $50 customer contribution for condominiums, apartments, and multi- family residences. The customer contribution will be paid directly to Groton Utilities.

  • For single family electric heated homes, Groton Utilities’ maximum HES rebate will not exceed $1,000.
  • For single family non-electric homes, Groton Utilities’ maximum HES rebate will not exceed $750.
  • For electric heated condominiums, apartments and multi-family residences, Groton Utilities’ maximum HES rebate will not exceed $500.
  • For non-electric heated condominiums, apartments, and multi-family residences, Groton Utilities’ maximum HES rebate will not exceed $300.

If the customer installs a mini-split system, or a heat pump water heater, Groton Utilities will double the rebate amount for the qualifying equipment. If the customer participated in the 2019 HES program Groton Utilities will reimburse the customer double their HES contribution.

The term of the HES service is once every 5 (five) years.

Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award Presented to Martin Cloudas

Martin Cloudas

Martin Cloudas is the recipient of the 2018 Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award for his many years of “Giving Back to the Community”. The award was presented for the fifteenth time at the annual City of Groton Day celebration on August 3rd.

Groton Utilities presented a check for $1,000 to the Aluminum Falcon Robotics in his honor. The charitable donation from Groton Utilities is the symbol of the award.

The award recognizes Cloudas for his outstanding efforts over the years, especially for his roles as mentor, supporter, teacher, and counselor to the Fitch Senior High School robotics team, Team 2168:  the Aluminum Falcons.

Groton Utilities is pleased to present this award to this deserving citizen for giving back to our community selflessly, sincerely, willingly and with great pride.

Since 2015, his volunteer efforts, including his leadership position as president of the team’s booster organization, enhanced the business side of the team.  The new financial structure improved fund raising, giving the team the ability to attend more competitions.

The robotics team credits Cloudas as one of the largest contributors in spreading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics throughout the Groton Community.

“Martin has become a father away from home for the entire team,” the team members emphasized in its nominating application.  “His ability to communicate with students has produced a trust with students, inspiring them to fulfill themselves and become better people,” team states.

Groton Utilities named the award, The Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award, to commemorate Mrs. Nixon’s service to her community. Jackie, as she was known to most, gave back to the community in many ways, including operating a food pantry in her residence for 24 years.  She distributed food on a regular basis to many needy families.  Jackie passed away July 6, 2004 after a brief battle with cancer.  Groton Utilities created the award in 2004 during its 100th anniversary year.

Earle A. Williams was the recipient of the first annual Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award.  Other winners of the award are: Robert “Bob” Leeney, Mimi

Orkney, Lillian “Lil” Hansen, Sarah Stanley, William “Bill” Welsh, Jr., Alfred Restivo, Robert “Bob” Austin LaFrance, Archie C. Swindell, Mildred “Milly” Carlson, Lian Obrey, James “Jim” Streeter, Charlie Ebbinghaus, and Marcia Gipstein.

SUBASE breaks ground on 7.4 megawatt fuel cell park

Subase GroundbreakingBy LT Daniel Mongiove, Navy New London Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. – Leadership from Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE); the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC); FuelCell Energy, Inc.; and the Connecticut Office of Military Affairs, broke ground for a 7.4 megawatt fuel cell park during a special ceremony at SUBASE, July 25.

The ground breaking was held near the installation’s sub-station interface with the community power grid.

The new generating capabilities of the fuel cell park advance the base’s energy reliability and energy security, especially as the base supports fifteen 15 nuclear-power fast-attack submarines which have their reactors shut down while in port.

Power from the fuel cell park not used by the base will supply the local power grid as well.

“Since SUBASE’s establishment as our Nation’s first permanent, continental Submarine base in 1916, our mission has been simple and straight forward: to deploy combat-ready submarines and crews, and to train a corps of professional submariners,” said Capt. Paul Whitescarver, SUBASE commanding officer. “Critical to ensuring SUBASE’s mission success is energy, and the fuel cell park is a win for all involved.”

Possible thru Enhanced Use Leasing

Whitescarver highlighted that the project is possible through the Navy’s “Enhanced Use Leasing” program.

Enhanced Use Leasing (EUL) opportunities provide Navy installations with alternatives to traditional approaches of acquiring, constructing, or upgrading facilities, and enables installations to leverage assets or property that are underutilized but not excess to the Navy’s needs. The small parcel of land adjacent to the SUBASE power sub-station to be used for the fuel cell park is such an example.

CMEEC was selected as the most qualified developer through a competitive solicitation process. Headquartered in Norwich, Connecticut, CMEEC is a public power entity that provides electric services to several municipal utilities and participating wholesale customers.

In exchange for use of the leased property to construct the fuel cell park, CMEEC will provide the Navy and SUBASE consideration in the form of “in-kind services,” such as power and equipment upgrades.

“Working collaboratively with the Navy, this project is an excellent model of public-private partnerships committed to do what is right for all the right reasons” said Drew Rankin, Chief Executive Officer of CMEEC.

CMEEC’s partner in the fuel cell park is FuelCell Energy Inc. of Danbury, Connecticut. FuelCell Energy, Inc., is a global fuel cell power company that designs, manufactures, operates and services direct fuel cell power plants.

“Not only will this [fuel cell park] provide predictable and resilient baseload power, it does so with FuelCell Energy’s 50 years’ worth of research and development of ultraclean renewable power generation solutions,” said Tony Rauseo, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of FuelCell Energy. Rauseo noted that the fuel cells will use chemistry, not combustion, to convert natural gas into electricity, thus eliminating the creation of dirty pollutants such as “NOx and SOx, the leading causes of air pollution, smog and acid rain.”

Initial construction of the fuel cell park will begin in September.

Milestone towards Micro-grid

Once on line, the fuel cell generation capability will serve as another milestone as SUBASE continues to pursue the development of a micro-grid for the base.

“A SUBASE micro-grid will transform our existing electrical system into a more intelligent, flexible, and robust system,” said Whitescarver.

A future micro-grid at the base will enhance power diversification, physical and energy security, and community collaboration, according to Whitescarver.

Through such a micro-grid, SUBASE will benefit not only from automated data gathering and precise peak demand control, but also from the ability to seamlessly disconnect from the utility grid and efficiently dispatch power generation to mission critical loads.

The Navy’s focus on energy security, energy efficiency, and energy sustainability and reliability is not new, explained Whitescarver at the event. Starting in 2009 with the Secretary of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet initiative, the Navy’s energy programs aim to reduce the Navy’s consumption of energy, decrease its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and significantly increase its use of alternative energy.

“Energy expenses are the single largest cost for Navy installations, reflecting about 28 percent of Navy’s shore budget,” said Whitescarver. “Innovative projects and cost savings created ashore free up dollars that can be used in the fleet.”

For Rankin, the efficiencies and impact that the fuel cell park on SUBASE will provide can be attributed to the culmination of a group effort by many individuals over many years.

“The Navy, Fuel Cell Energy, the State of Connecticut, and the CMEEC Board and employees, all focused on the one objective, how to enhance the SUBASE military value and preparedness, and to figure out how to do it in the most mutually beneficial way for all parties,” said Rankin. “We figured it out; we worked collaboratively; we made it happen; and the entire CMEEC team is proud to be part of this noble group.”