Aldermen won’t seek party status on solar array

VERGENNES — The Vergennes City Council last week reached a consensus not to seek, at least for now, intervener status before the Public Service Board on a 500-kilowatt solar array that is proposed for a site behind the Comfort Hill Kennel near the Ferrisburgh town line.
City Manager Mel Hawley said at the Sept. 8 meeting that “personally, I have no problem” with the location for a proposal by Vergennes Poquette Solar LLC, but said the council should be aware it had the option of being a party to PSB proceedings as that board decides whether to issue the project a Certificate of Public Good.
“That’s why I’m bringing it to your attention,” Hawley said.
Council members discussed how visible the 500kW array would be. That size would be half of the Ferrisburgh Solar Farm that sits between Vergennes Union High School and Route 7. They concluded, for example, that it might be seen from the cupola of Alderman Jeff Fritz’s Main Street Victorian home or the rear of Alderman Renny Perry’s Park Street property.
Both Fritz and Perry joined the rest of the council members in deciding that unless they were flooded with complaints about the remote location there was no reason to seek intervener status, although they would consider doing so for other projects in different sites.
“It seems like it’s not a bad location,” said Mayor Bill Benton.
Benton also noted that it would add about $700,000 to the grand list, based on assessments elsewhere. Hawley said that would translate to about $6,000 in annual revenue. 
See other stories from the City Council Meeting here.

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