To the Editor:

I am writing this in response to a letter that was published in the Dec. 30 edition of The Spectrum from Terrence J. McClinch concerning our solar development project on part of Candlewood Mountain.

The property contains 163.48 acres (of 309 acres total) and pays an annual tax of $19,333.56.

CT Statute 12-81, 57(f) grants every municipality in Connecticut the power to waive up to 100 percent of all property taxes to encourage the development of Class1 renewable energy projects like ours.

We, on the other hand, have proposed to pay nearly $2,350,000 over the 20-year life of the project. An increase of over 500 percent over current tax revenue.

The current zone designation of this parcel is MPRDD or “Major Planned Residential Design District,” which would permit construction of 600 units of multifamily housing.

This is a far more invasive development than our solar array, which incidentally will never require a single town service, i.e., schools, police, fire, road maintenance, water or sewer usage.

The solar field itself is considered pervious, in that it will produce no additional stormwater runoff onto adjacent properties or Candlewood Lake.

Furthermore, the entire solar field will be planted with field grasses, not turf grass.

The Blue Trail and the peak of Candlwood Mountain are approximately 100 feet higher and 1,000 feet north of the solar field, and will not be disturbed in any way by this development.

In fact, of the total 309-acre area of New Milford Energy Park, approximately 200 acres will remain forestland.

Approximately 25 acres are presently open pasture.

An additional 50-55 acres of trees will be removed to accommodate the solar array. This area will be professionally maintained just twice per year throughout the life of the project.

At the end of the project’s useful life the panels and supports will be removed and the site can be re-claimed as forest, farmland or pasture.

The panels absorb light, not reflect it.

Our solar partner, Ameresco Energy Inc., of Framingham, Mass., has built solar projects at Boston’s Logan International Airport and the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport and is developing similar airport projects throughout the United States.

The FAA would not permit these projects to be built at or near several of our largest U.S. international airports if they threatened the safety of airline pilots and their passengers.

Lastly, but no less important, the panels will not be visible from Candlewood Mountain Road, Route 7 or Candlewood Lake.

Upon installation, and their silent operation, no one will know that the panels are on the mountain, and they will never produce toxic or hazardous waste.

We hope that this letter will correct any misstatement of facts concerning this development and if you believe, as we do, that this is a worthwhile project, please email the New Milford Town Council at towncouncil@newmilford.org and voice your support. Thank you.

William J. LaMontagne

Partner

New Milford Clean Power

New Milford