Mayor Apel Announces Solar Power Project

Project Estimated to Save Town $130,000 Annually
Mayor George F. Apel today has announced that the Town of Vernon has taken initial steps toward solar power production. The energy improvement measure, a 999.36 kilowatt solar project, is expected to result in significant energy reductions and annual savings for the town.

“We are very excited about this energy agreement,” said Mayor Apel. “The use of solar power will allow the Town of Vernon to improve its energy consumption, resulting in estimated savings of $130,000 per year. Additionally, this new source of energy will help to make our town greener and more energy efficient.”

On Monday, December 23, 2011, the Town Council approved a resolution proposed by Mayor Apel, and the Energy Improvement District (EID) Board, allowing for the town to enter into a purchase power agreement with Greenskies Renewable Energy, LLC, of Middletown, Connecticut. The agreement will allow the town to receive energy derived from a solar power facility to be located at 713 Talcottville Road.

“It is important that the Town of Vernon creates the best opportunity and location for businesses to open or relocate,” said Shaun Gately, Economic Development Coordinator. “Our primary concern is our residents; Vernon cares about its citizens, the environment, and the business climate. This solar power project allows us to address all three.”

The power produced at the new facility would improve services provided to the town’s residents and businesses. The power would be used at the Town’s Waste Water Treatment Plant, which is the largest municipal consumer of power in Vernon. While the solar power would have a significant reduction in energy production, the town will still need to purchase a significant amount of energy from TransCanada and Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P).

“This measure is a major step in the right direction for the town,” said Mayor Apel. “While the space needed for a one-megawatt facility places a limit on how much power can be generated, the potential for long-term growth in energy improvement and reductions in energy costs are limitless. I commend the EID Board for leading our town into an era of energy efficiency and green power.”

Additional steps remain in the process before the project can initially break ground. For additional information regarding the energy improvement/solar power plan, residents can contact the Mayor’s office at (860) 870-3601.

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Mayor Apel, Town Council Approve Additional Storm Alfred Funding

Mayor George F. Apel today has announced that Town Council has approved an additional emergency appropriation to cover the costs incurred as a result of Winter Storm Alfred. On November 15, 2011, the Town Council approved $2,834,000 in emergency appropriations in addition to the initial $420,000 that was approved on November 3, 2011. Today’s approval brings the total storm appropriations to $3,816,000.

According to the Vernon Town Charter, Chapter 12, Section 8, no annual emergency appropriations are to exceed five percent of the current budget. As a result, a Public Hearing was held at this evening’s Town Council meeting to approve a resolution for the additional $562,000 to fund emergency protective measures and debris removal resulting from Winter Storm Alfred. At the hearing, the funds were approved by the public.

On November 17, 2011, the President of the United States issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Connecticut as a result of the rare October winter storm. Mayor Apel and the town will be pursuing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance to cover the emergency funding.

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Mayor Apel Greets Third Grade Students from Lake Street School

Mayor George F. Apel today greeted members of the third grade class from Lake Street School who were on a field trip tour of Vernon Town Hall. The students were given a guided tour of various offices, town council chambers, and the mayor’s office. While in the council chambers, Mayor Apel welcomed the students, and invited them into the mayor’s office.

“I was humbled to have the honor of speaking with such a fine group of young individuals,” said Mayor Apel. “I am pleased that Lake Street School provided this opportunity for the children to explore Town Hall. It is imperative that our kids learn now about the importance of local government and its functions.”

While addressing the group of students, Mayor Apel spoke about the significance of having fun, regardless of how serious life can be at times. Mayor Apel also fielded individual questions, including a few about his role and responsibilities as mayor. Mayor Apel then posed for photos with students, handed out autographs, and invited each student to sit in the mayor’s chair.

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Mayor Apel Statement on the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

Mayor George F. Apel today issued the following statement commemorating the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor:

“Today, on December 7th, we pause to remember and honor the 2,400 Americans whose lives were lost seventy years ago at Pearl Harbor. We also take time to honor the over 400,000 brave Americans who perished during World War II. It is these brave and selfless individuals to whom we pay respect to and commemorate today.

“On this day, we pause to thank the survivors and veterans of Pearl Harbor; to their families and friends, we extend our sincerest thoughts, prayers and gratitude. We also celebrate the bravery and heroism that was displayed at Pearl Harbor, as we grieve and commemorate our fallen heroes and veterans for their commitment and dedication to protecting our Republic.

“The attack on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, will forever ‘live in infamy,’ and it will always serve as a reminder of the cost of freedom and the sacrifices that Americans are willing to make to protect our nation, and our way of life. Today, we thank all Americans and their families who serve our country and protect our great nation.”

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Mayor Apel, Town of Vernon Hold 9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Mayor George F. Apel and the Town of Vernon yesterday held the town’s 9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event, which began at 6:15 p.m., featured the town’s 3rd Annual Torchlight Parade, followed by the tree lighting and carol sing at Central Park (14 Park Place).

At the ceremony, Mayor Apel delivered a brief statement and read a proclamation declaring the month of December, 2011, as “Winterfest Month” in Vernon. Joining Mayor Apel was Paul Stansel, who assisted the Mayor with lighting the tree. The ceremony marked the beginning of Vernon’s 2011 Winterfest and the holiday season.

Additional 2011 Vernon Winterfest information and a list of scheduled events can be obtained by visiting the Vernon Parks and Recreation website,, or by calling (860) 870-3520.

The text of Mayor Apel’s tree lighting statement is below:

Good evening.

“I would like to welcome everyone and thank you all for being here today to celebrate the start of the holiday season with our 3rd Annual Torchlight Parade and our 9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

“I would also like to thank the Parks and Recreation Department, the Rockville Community Alliance, and all of the individuals who were involved with organizing this event; without these hardworking individuals, our Winterfest celebrations would not be possible.

“Today’s joyous occasion provides all of us with an opportunity to come together as a community and to give thanks for the many blessings of life. It also allows us to commemorate the joy that all of you bring to each other and to our town.

“This holiday season, I ask that all of you remain mindful of those members of the community who are less fortunate and most in need. I also ask that you keep your thoughts and prayers with the brave men and women who fight overseas to keep us safe and to protect our country.

“As we stand here today, before this tree, in the spirit of the holidays, we are truly reminded of how it serves as a testament of our town’s peace, goodwill, and unity. May our tree stand tall as a shining beacon within the community, to remind all residents and visitors of Vernon’s yuletide spirit and joy.

“Now, it is time for the moment that we have all been waiting for – However, I cannot light the tree alone! I have invited Paul Stansel to help me light the tree this evening.” [Tree Lighting]

“Before we conclude the ceremony, I would like to invite everyone to join Mr. and Mrs. Claus for some light refreshments in the lobby of Town Hall. I would also like to remind everyone that there will be many more Winterfest events this month, and to please visit the town’s website for more information.

“On behalf of the town, my wife, Joan, and our family, I want to thank you all for joining us this evening, and I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.”

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Mayor Apel, Town of Vernon to Hold Tree Lighting, Winterfest Ceremonies

On Friday, December 2, 2011, Mayor Apel will join members of the community for Vernon’s 3rd Annual Torchlight Parade and 9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony to kick-off Vernon’s 2011 Winterfest and the holiday season. The parade, which is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m., will step-off at Station 1 (Route 30 Fire Station), continue on West Road, to Union Street, and end at Central Park (14 Park Place) at 6:45 p.m. for the Tree Lighting and Carol Sing, followed by lite refreshments at Vernon Town Hall.

“Vernon’s torchlight parade and tree lighting ceremony has become a special town tradition, as it provides residents with a great opportunity to gather together as a community to celebrate the start of the holiday season,” said Mayor Apel in anticipation of Friday’s ceremony. “I strongly encourage all members of the community to bring their families and friends to Central Park as we light the tree and celebrate this joyous occasion.”

Additional 2011 Vernon Winterfest information and a list of scheduled events can be obtained by visiting the Vernon Parks and Recreation website,, or by calling (860) 870-3520.


Torchlight Parade (6:15 p.m.):
Vernon Fire Station #1
724 Hartford Turnpike (Route 30)
Vernon, CT 06066

Tree Lighting and Carol Sing (6:45 p.m.):
Vernon Town Hall (Central Park)
14 Park Place
Vernon, CT 06066


Friday, December 2, 2011
6:15 p.m.

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Mayor Apel Statement on Thanksgiving Day

Mayor George F. Apel today issued the following statement on Thanksgiving Day:

“For over two centuries, Thanksgiving has been observed as a day to come together with family, friends, and the community to give thanks for the many blessings of life. Today, as Americans come together across the nation in celebration of Thanksgiving, it is important to recognize and give thanks for our great country, and the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who selflessly serve and sacrifice to keep us safe and free. I wish everyone and their families a happy and safe Thanksgiving.”

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