Letter to the editor: Proposed Brandon solar project would be an eyesore

As a big supporter of solar, wind and hydro energy farming as an alternative to fossil fuels, I have always thought there is a time and place for everything. This solar project of Conti’s off Park Street in Brandon is not one of them. Not only can this project never be shielded from the view of anyone near it, the loss of the beautiful fields on the edge of town will be lost forever.
There is already now one of the state’s largest solar projects in the works in Brandon that is in the right place. This new one so close to town is totally unnecessary on so many levels.
First and foremost, the town of Brandon is in the middle of a huge transformation that will bring it to an all-new level of beautification the town has sorely needed for years. With the generosity of the voters and planning on the selectboard’s part, Park Street will be totally rebuilt and will finally offer pothole-free travel for motorists and bicyclists who will flock to Brandon to take advantage of the new downtown area. To travel out from the village on Park Street past all the grandiose old homes and out to the surroundings of town on our country roads to wineries, the golf course, maple syrup farms, Brandon Music, and scenery surrounding town we will be blinded by acres of solar panels that will destroy the experience.
There is also no benefit to Brandon or anyone affected by this project with the power to be generated. I am sure the power lines will need to be upgraded to handle the new power and this will add to the unsightliness of the project. And don’t get me started on the selling of all the solar credits so other fossil burning companies can continue to pollute.
In full disclosure, I must reveal that I own four acres directly next to this project and have spent the last year restoring the old “Dutton Property” from 1890 with it’s towering four-story old barn. I also have the right of first refusal to purchase the eight acres next to me to the east that part of this project is on. I have tried to follow through on this to protect the area and keep the eight acres away from this kind of construction.
Perhaps a contingency of concerned property owners could get together to purchase all the property from Mr. Brooks so he can benefit from his investment and we can save this area of Brandon. The town has come so far! Let’s not let this one get away.
Jonathan Blake

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