The bell rang and we started the song, at which point we were interrupted by Karl’s cell phone.  We soldiered on, said the pledge and Joe prayed for those working at the Expo.  The rest of you are doomed.


Joe immediately proposed a fine on Karl for the offending cell phone, noting that the ringing could be construed as advertising for Rinker Communications, and that upon receiving the call, Karl left the room and abandoned us ½ way through the song.  Karl’s defense was to acknowledge that he has missed the last few meetings and is happy to be back.  With that non-defense, there was no choice but to pass the fine.


Bob gave a Happy Dollar – he had received a call from Doc Parnigoni, asking how many breakfast tickets Bob will need this year.  It’s almost like he never left!


President Claire made the following announcements:

  • People should bundle up for the Expo tonight as its cold in the BOR.  All booths are full and the TV ads are great.
  • Our speaker next week will be Congressman Peter Welch, who will be discussing the federal budget.
  • Chet Briggs had a pacemaker put in yesterday.  Our best wishes are with him.


P. Claire introduced our speakers today, Robert Dostis & Mary Morris from Green Mountain Power.  They presented a PowerPoint presentation about GMP projects in the Barre area and its work on developing a Smart Grid.


In our area they are surveying utility poles, which is done every 10 years; they are working to support Vermont Broadband development; and they will be replacing streetlights in both the City & Town with more efficient LED lights.


Electricity use in Vermont has tripled since 1960.  The Smart Grid project is focused on reducing cost and carbon emissions, and maintaining reliability.  All meters will be replaced with electronic meters that will wirelessly transmit readings and other information directly to GMP, and will allow users to monitor usage through the GMP website.  You will also be able to run scenarios that will let you determine changes in usage and costs associated with new appliances or conservation measures.  The cost for the statewide project is $138 million, and $69 million of the funding is coming from a federal Department of Energy.


The project began last April and is scheduled to be completed by February 2013.  There will be a less than 1% rate increase to help offset costs, then the hope is the efficiencies in the new system will lower electric rates.


Everybody should watch their electric bills over the next year or so, as they will contain more information about the upgrades to the Smart Grid.


Just before we asked our guests to draw the winning ticket, Carol tried to fine President Claire for once again skipping the secretary’s report.  P. Claire said she already acknowledged she would pay a dollar for every missed report, so the fine was not acted upon.


Our speaker Mary drew the winning ticket, which happened to belong to our guest Robert.  I smell collusion.