Last night, at the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) meeting, Common Council president Tom DePietro revealed two bits of interesting information.
The first regards the ad hoc committee pursuing the plan to install solar panels on City-owned property. When asked by CAC chair Hilary Hillman if the committee would continue, DePietro said, "Not really." It will be remembered that the Common Council issued a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) in creating a solar farm in the area of North Bay, and three developers responded--all of whom wanted to install solar arrays on the capped landfill. The CAC objected, arguing that the former landfill is a significant habitat for rare species and an important open space for residents of Hudson. They advocated instead for installing solar panels over hard surface throughout the city, one possibility being over parking lots. Last night, DePietro commented, "No developer is going to put together a hardscape solar project. It's just not economical."
The second relates to a new comprehensive plan. The current comprehensive plan was adopted in 2002, and it is long overdue for an update. The City has received a grant to do a new comprehensive plan, but the amount--$67,500--is considered insufficient to accomplish the task. A portion of the $200,000 received from Stewart's in the host community benefit agreement was supposed to go toward a new comprehensive plan, but it turns out that the upgrades to the intersection of Green Street and Fairview Avenue are going to cost more than the $200,000 received from Stewart's. Last night, DePietro told the CAC that the City would be able to use ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to finance a new comprehensive plan and said, "A comprehensive plan is in our future."
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