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From the desk of Carroll Valley Mayor Ron

(1/10) Winter is here and the utility bills are up. You may want to attend the January 5th Planning Commission meeting being held at the Borough Office at 7:00 p.m. America Hearth, a local vendor, has been invited to present and discuss the benefits of installing residential renewable energy generation technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines.

If you are considering installing alternative energy device, you should first determine how much energy you need. If you are a member of Adams Electric, you can borrow a Kill A Watt electricity use monitor. This monitor can be used to track electric use by the day, week, month, or even an entire year.

There are also a number of websites, for example,, you can visit to perform a home energy audit. Find where the air leaks are in the house such as around window and door frames and window mounted air conditioners. The information on some of the websites indicate that you can save 24 kilowatt hours a month just by turning down your home thermostat two degrees. Or you could fix that leaky faucet and possibly save 20 kilowatts a month.

While these are small savings, they do add up over time. If you buy major appliances, you should consider purchasing those that have an "Energy Star" sticker. This sticker shows the appliance meets or exceeds the standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

After you have reduced your carbon footprint as much as you can, you are now ready to decide on the type(s) of alternative energy technologies that best fits your need. Come to the Planning Commission meeting and discover what's out in the marketplace.

Are you aware of the Mission of Mercy program? Mission of Mercy provides free healthcare, free dental care and free prescription medications to the uninsured, underinsured and those who have little money to afford healthcare.

During this economic downturn, this may be a program you might want to look into, especially if you lost your full-time job and don't have any insurance. Their mission as stated on their Home Page is "to restore dignity to all people by being an instrument of healing through Love…"

This mobile program provides free: primary care, episodic and long-term treatment of chronic illnesses, prenatal care, physical therapy, prescription medications and dental fillings and extractions. Checkout their website at or call (717) 642-9062 for more information.

The organization depends on volunteerism and community contributions to operate. So, after the holidays, if you have a few extra dollars, think about making a donation to this program that takes care of others in need. Thank you Mission of Mercy for all you do for our community.

I am happy to report that all Fairfield area cell phone towers are operational. Through the close collaboration and coordination among the Boroughs of Carroll Valley and Fairfield and the Townships of Hamilitonban and Liberty, Congressional Representative Todd Platts, State Representative Dan Moul, the Adams County Emergency Services, Fairfield Fire and EMS, local Police Departments, Fairfield Area School District, Fairfield Regional Emergency Management Agency, Ski Liberty Resort and Conference Center and Carroll Valley Resort, enabled us to present our requirements to the wireless service community. AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon responded to our need. Liberty Towers and Sprint built the towers and two years later we now have cell phone service in our area. From what I have been told, this was quite an achievement.

As of today, AT&T transmitters are on the tower behind the Fairfield Fire Department and on the tower located off Steelman Marker Road in Liberty Township. A Sprint transmitter is on the tower located on Ski Liberty mountain in Carroll Valley. The Verizon transmitter is on the Jacks Mountain tower. On behalf of the Fairfield area citizens, I would like to thank everyone who helped bring cell phone service to our area.

Two significant decisions were made at the December Borough Council meeting. They were the passage/approval of the 2010 Budget with no tax increase and the selection of CMX Mechanicsville to provide geotechnical engineering services to address repairing the Lake May spillway. As was mentioned during the meeting, the actual cost of Lake May repairs will not be known until the scope of work is determined and the contractor is selected to perform the repair work.

Yes, 2010 should be a very interesting year. The reassessment should be completed. The United States Census 10 question form will be mailed to you to fill out. Based on the updated census data collected, political boundaries may change, allocation of federal and state funds could be affected and decisions regarding health care and other services will be made.

One thing is for sure - change is constant. I am confident change can be good if we work together for the common good. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!

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