Argues company is ‘committing...travesties without the town’s approvals’
Published 10:55 am, Tuesday, February 27, 2018
To the Editor:
In response to the letter written “Extends thanks for supporters of solar project” on Jan. 24.
As a resident of Candlewood Mountain, I have attended almost 30 meetings on the 60,000-78,000 panel solar project planned to go on farmland, core forest and bordering wetlands.
Only one of the many meetings held over the two years was held for public input. Poorly advertised, thus, poorly attended.
No letter went out to residents whose lives and properties will be impacted by this travesty.
The solar project will affect both the property I live on and my quality of life. After hearing so much conflicting information, I resorted to stopping cars on Candlewood Mountain, to ensure that neighbors were aware of happenings behind the scenes.
There was no transparency; 12 out of 13 drivers knew nothing about the plan.
In attending most commission meetings, group and individual meetings, I realized the facts, the information, and the plans changed from meeting to meeting. For example, the visibility of the project…. from not visible, barely visible, to visible at certain times of the year to “they won’t see it from their kitchen windows.”
This verbiage is deceitful and unsettling. This company should go through the process that all other businesses and residents do in our town, with wetlands, zoning and planning.
The clear cutting somewhere between 50 and 60 acres of mature trees, though that number fluctuates, will destroy habitat. We co-exist with bobcats, coyotes, lone wolves, wild turkeys, bears, deer and a myriad majestic birds.
It is impossible that “we won’t disturb the wildlife on the mountain.”
The FFA information is not conclusive…it’s not worth a life.
I don’t know who the Connecticut Conservation Trust is, but a graveyard of solar panels is not going to be a welcome gift. A conservation group destroying this majestic mountain for a field of solar panels?
To correct the letter, “Local contractors and workers will be hired.” This is only if they have the expertise, not a given and the jobs are short-lived.
Another correction. This proposal was not approved or supported by Connecticut DEEP from the beginning because it was not considered an economical source of renewable power. It was approved by Massachusetts and Rhode Island, so it went forward. The power goes to Massachusetts.
Connecticut does not get credit for renewable production and Connecticut and New Milford do not get any power. It is not allocated for Connecticut! It is not specifically going here as was stated.
The petitioners study and initial application showed one vernal pool. When questioned about the existence of additional vernal pools, two other, more critical pools were exposed. This necessitated the significant alteration of the plan! Yet, another change.
It’s not just the residents on the mountain that are disturbed by this. Rescue Candlewood Mountain has approximately 100 members, some from the mountain and others concerned about ecology and life quality. A petition against the project has at least 750 signatures.
Ultimately, there was one public hearing which was called for by the New Milford Zoning Commission. At that public hearing, the response was overwhelmingly negative and the zoning commission voted against the project.
These inconsistencies are obvious and unacceptable. The company should be held to the rigorous high standards that all businesses and residents go through.
This company is committing these travesties without the town’s approvals. The former New Milford Town Council was pushed by the former administration to approve a PILOT agreement lacking verification that a gift of a 20-year tax abatement was needed.
I thank those who worked so hard for transparency, getting the word out. You are the heart and soul of New Milford.