Officials and residents also discuss solar power array; public hearing to continue Tuesday
BY KATHY KAHN
Stony Point’s Town Board on September 12 focused mainly on questions and concerns about the Champlain Hudson Power Express and the proposed solar array law the municipality is crafting.
Local activist Susan Filgueras has been keeping close tabs on Transmission Developers, Inc. (TDI), the company building the 340-mile underground transmission wires from Montreal to Astoria, telling board members she had written to the Public Service Commission about a proposed route change but received no reply.
The power express, carrying 1000 megawatts of direct current from Canada to downstate, is configured to run both underwater and next to CSX rail line’s right-of-ways. Filgueras says CHPE is now planning to re-route the underground piping away from the historic Waldron Cemetery and CSX train tracks and run it under Route 9W instead.
Supervisor Jim Monaghan agreed that changing the pipeline’s path to Route 9W would adversely affect business owners and the town should be compensated if TDI gets the new permitting and approvals to put it under the 9W corridor.
Councilman Tom Basile added, “Some elected officials have been in private negotiations…are we being played? We have not been given a straight story, and we’ve had enough of operating in the shadows.” Monaghan agreed, saying “If TDI “wants to disrupt business on 9W, it can also create streetscapes along the route to compensate businesses and residents.”
Staying in the energy mode, the Board continued the public hearing on the draft law covering solar arrays. The Marian Shrine is working with Green Street Solar Power to build an array on eight acres of its property that would generate 2.5 million kilowatts per year. While the Marian Shrine would benefit from the solar power generated as would 250 homes surrounding the property, it would lose tax-exempt status on the land the array is planned for.
Two homeowners on Don Bosco Lane, which faces the field where the array is being proposed, came before the Town Board to ask what will happen to the quiet, pristine view if Green Solar Power builds behind their homes.
What attracted two-year resident Anthony Mallozzi to buy his home was the beautiful view from his back deck. “I pay $17,000 a year in taxes, and I bought this house particularly for its quiet, peaceful atmosphere.” Similarly, Don Bosco Lane resident Jennifer Griffith also wondered what the view shed would be if the array were placed there.
While the town would benefit from the $100,000 a year in taxes where the Marian Shrine proposes the solar array would be constructed, the Board is also concerned about protecting the quality of life for the town.
“If solar fits the Town of Stony Point, we want to craft a law so there will be buffer zones around the acreage arrays are built on,” said Monaghan. The town’s attorney has updated the original draft law which can be found on the town’s website www.townofstonypoint.org. The public hearing will resume on the September 26 meeting at the RHO building at 7 p.m.