Now discredited concerns over red staining around the old landfill
On what would have been a great day to generate electricity via a solar farm, Amherst's Sustainability Coordinator Stephanie Ciccarello braved the hot weather, mosquitoes, and ticks to provide an educational hike across the wide open, unshaded old landfill for a presentation to nearly 40 residents on the proposed solar energy farm. NIMBYs proved to be the bigger nuisance, however.
Old Landfill provides wide open flat terrain (and a nice view)
In spite of repeated assertions that she did not want "to get into a political debate," nearby neighbors came to the event loaded for bear. Constant sniping about fencing,lighting, noise, and weight on the landfill cap gave way to a full on assault as one gentleman, his voice rising, branded the proceeding "propaganda" and then invoked his Viet Nam service to remind the crowd of the memorable line, "Sometimes you have to destroy the village in order to save it."
He then stormed off with a few angry folks following close behind, reminiscent of the very first public hearing the town promoted just over a year ago. The remaining crowd gave Ms. Ciccarello polite applause.
Stephanie Ciccarello (center with back to camera, white hat) answers question for Dick Stein retired UMass professor
Town Manager John Musante won by an overwhelming Town Meeting vote the right to negotiate a 30 year deal with Blue Wave Capital for a solar array potentially generating $1 million annually to the town while significantly reducing our carbon footprint. Blue Wave has also agreed that 25% of the workforce related to the construction of the site will be from Amherst.
Musante recently stated the lucrative deal was "inches from the goal line".
NIMBYs of course specialize in goal line defense.
Meanwhile on Sunday, not far from this heated public gathering, the South Amherst Congregational Church voted unanimously to install solar panels on their roof "in order to send a statement that we are stewards of the land ..."
South Amherst Congregational Church