Counters earlier claims about Candlewood Mountain solar project
Once again Lisa Ostrove has twisted the facts concerning our solar project on Candlewood Mountain. Her biggest objection to the project is the fact that it abuts her 10-acre property. If it didn't, we would have never heard from her or any of our other neighbors.
They all professed publicly to love solar power as long as it wasn't located in their neighborhood. The hypocrisy is stunning. Through re-engineering, the project size has been reduced from 72,000 panels to 60,000 panels, with a corresponding reduction in the number of trees that will be removed. The solar field is also considered permeable, or able to absorb nearly all of the rainwater that falls upon it.
The PILOT Agreement dictating the taxes to be paid over the 20-year life of the project was actually voted on twice by a fully informed Town Council. The first vote was to accept the 700% increase in property taxes.
The second vote approved the actual agreement with three pages of conditions added by the Town to protect the site and the neighborhood during construction, operation, and decommissioning.
Though it is true that, other than site maintenance, there will be no permanent jobs created, neither are there any Town services required. It will be hidden from public view and will be removed in twenty (20) years.
The alternative, under its present "Major Planned Residential Design District" zone, would permit a very large apartment development with buildings five (5) stories high that would permanently decimate the mountain and light it up like a Christmas tree at night, together with traffic, people, Town services, and pollution of nearly every type you can name.
We are interviewing several conservation land trusts to accept our 100-acre gift, which will include our portion of the "Blue Hiking Trail" and "Kelly's Slide". The trust that we select must comply with IRS regulations concerning gifts of this nature and size, and must demonstrate the ability to maintain this land in perpetuity. If the project does not get built, there will not be a gift of land to anyone, which will make the entire 164-acres subject to the aforementioned apartment development.
The electricity generated by this project will be fed into the Rocky River Substation on Kent Rd. and distributed by Eversource to wherever it's needed, including New Milford.
Finally, our adjacent 145-acre site on Kent Rd. , aptly named "New Milford Energy Park", will be dedicated to the development and production of clean renewable energy that will add jobs and increase property taxes beyond what the property currently pays in taxes.
William J. LaMontagne
New Milford Clean Power, LLC