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Vt. capital to move ahead with district heating

MONTPELIER, Vt. — It's a go for at least the first part of a downtown district heating system planned for Vermont's capital, and a top city official says he expects most or all of the project will be built.

City councilors voted last week to support the system fueled by wood chips, reversing an earlier vote. The change came after a public outcry and assurances the state would remain as a partner even if the city decided to build only part of the project.

City Manager William Fraser says bids on the full system are expected over the next few weeks, and that the Council will decide after that if the entire $18 million project should go forward.

Supporters say the switch from heating oil will save money and reduce carbon emissions. Opponents have said the finances are too uncertain.