BY KATHY KAHN
The Marian Shrine, a Roman Catholic retreat on Filors Lane straddling the towns of Haverstraw and Stony Point, requested permission to install a solar array on its property at Stony Point’s July town board meeting.
The proposed solar project would provide power to the retreat, as well as to 250 homes surrounding it, developers claimed. The section of the Marian Shrine property proposed for the array will no longer be eligible for tax-exempt status as it has been while designated a religious property.
Now, the town needs to consider what the value of the land set aside for that purpose will be set at and how to tax it. Since no law currently exists, one is being drafted by the town, which opened a public hearing on the proposed legislation August 8. The Stony Point Planning Board will review the draft law and ask both Rockland County and the Town of Haverstraw to do the same before any law regarding solar installations is put on Stony Point’s books.
Supervisor Jim Monaghan addressed the issue of the solar array on religious property, affirming that the section of the Marian Shrine property used for the solar array would no longer be exempt from paying taxes. Resident Susan Filgueras asked if the town had checked with Orange & Rockland to find out how the utility works with property owners who use their land for this purpose. Filgueras said, “If you generate energy, that’s sale for resale and that can be taxed.”
The board will keep the hearing open until its next meeting on September 12 where they will get feedback from their residents. The meeting will take place at the RHO building beginning at 7 p.m.
A draft of the proposed solar energy facilities law is on the town’s website www.townofstonypoint.org under “Notices.”