To the editor:
Residents continue to hear and/or read inaccurate and misleading information from opponents regarding the proposed solar array behind Hatton School between Berlin Street and Spring Lake Road. There hasn’t been a “rush to push this through” without proper zoning or regulatory approvals. The Town is not “destroying the land.” The town is simply using town-owned property for the benefit of all residents and taxpayers.
The State of Connecticut has statutes, known as local 8-24 approvals for town projects on town land. The Greenskies project was reviewed by town staff and, after lengthy discussions, was approved by our elected Planning & Zoning Commission and the Town Council.
Hatton School sits on a 10.5 acre parcel (# 102100). The rear 5 acres are the school field. The proposed solar array uses only two acres of another 4.1 acre parcel behind that (#102120) with a 50 foot wide access out to Berlin Street by power lines near Butternut Lane. This is a landlocked parcel. It can’t be seen from town roads, and it will also have fences and shrubs around the perimeter.
Opponents “doubt it will save us the money they claim when we buy power from them.” Opponents need to read the contracts. The rates will save tax payers $40,000 per year at this location for 20 years. They would also read that it’s Greenskies responsibility to remove and restore the site at contract end. That answers their question of “What then?”
Neighbors, some people running for local office this fall, and some members of the Land Trust are confusing other residents regarding the difference between purchasing Open Space parcels around town and already-owned town property for town use. This is simply a matter of NIMBY—“Not In My Backyard.”
I fully support all Town efforts to go green and save taxpayers money.
Arthur Cyr, Southington