WATERLOO — The public debate over an 80 megawatt solar photovoltaic generating project proposed for the west end of the town has begun and will continue at Monday night’s Town Board meeting.
A delegation of property owners in the Packwood, Serven and Border City Road and Pre-Emption Street area are expected to attend and ask questions about the project.
Representatives of NextEra Energy Resources of Juno Beach, Fla., sponsor of the project, will also be there to provide information and answer questions, particularly about the Article 10 review process of the State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.
Property owners attended the September board meeting to voice concerns. Those concerns were brought up at the Oct. 22 Seneca County Board of Supervisors meeting. The concerns are over homeowners having to view hundreds of solar panels rather than open land, impact on property values and restoration of the land after the project is decommissioned.
NextEra has submitted an application to the state siting board under its Article 10 process.
The Article 10 review details a public involvement process.
On Oct. 10, the company file a required Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS) and deadline for submitting comments. The PSS provides general details of the project and lists the nature and scope of the studies the company must undertake to develop the information that must be included in its formal application for the certificate of environmental compatibility.
Such studies identify and evaluate the potential impacts of a project on the environment, public health and other public interest factors. State agencies and other interested persons are encouraged to engage in discussion with the developer during this phase to reach agreements or stipulations, regarding the details of these studies.
Any person, agency or municipality may submit comments on the PSS by filing them with the Siting Board. Those comments must be filed within 21 days after the filing of the PSS or no later than 4:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Within 21 days of the close of the public comment period, the developer is required to file a summary of and reply to all timely filed comments on the PSS. That deadline is 4:30 p.m. Nov. 21.
The agenda also includes:
• A public hearing on the preliminary 2020 town budget, which calls for nearly identical tax rates per $1,000 of assessed value as this year. The board could also vote to adopt the budget later in the meeting.
• A motion to accept a second amendment to the 2017 inter-municipal agreement among the towns of Waterloo, Geneva, Phelps and Junius for the Four-Town Water Project.
• Discussion of setting a time, date and place for an informational meeting for residents who are interested in the possibility of receiving public water through water district north of where the current line ends on Pre-Emption Street, extending some 2,500 feet to the north.
• A motion to authorize the supervisor to sign a letter from Bernard P. Donegan Inc. of Victor to apply for initial borrowing and/or renewal of a bond anticipation note.