Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blinded By The Light

Newer of ye old landfills catching some rays
Note thick tree line buffering landfill from Logtown Road neighborhood on left

'Twas NIMBY business as usual at the 2nd town sponsored public forum on planned solar array projects at the two closed landfill sites, both located off Belchertown Road in East Amherst.

 Crowd was not overly friendly to concept of solar on ye old landfill

While the 3.4 megawatt project on the newer of the old that will generate $128K in electrical savings and $45K Payment In Lieu Of Taxes annually for 20 years seems to have almost universal support, the older unlined landfill with a ritzy neighborhood next door continues to draw fire.

 The project will have plenty of oversight

Despite presentations outlining the rigorous testing and oversight the Department of Environmental Protection requires for landfills, neighbors were not convinced the solar project could be safely constructed on an unlined landfill with a cap that is not perfectly impermeable.

They even hired their own environmental consultant who concluded the sky is falling, the sky is falling.  

Interim Town Manager Dave Ziomek 

Standing exactly where deceased Town Manger John Musante stood only six weeks ago, interim Town Manager Dave Ziomek started the proceedings by acknowledging his friend and colleague: "John was passionate about making Amherst a green community and solar was one of his biggest priorities."

 One of the many symbols of Amherst's commitment to being a "green community"

Back in 2011 NIMBYs tried to sabotage  a warrant article allowing Town Manager Musante to enter into a solar deal on ye old landfill by adding a pair of poison pill amendments.  They both failed in one of the most lopsided defeats in the 250+ year history of Amherst Town Meeting.

Naturally NIMBYs instantly went to Plan B: file a lawsuit, which resulted in "death by delay".

A neighbor brought up that lawsuit at the public forum last night and Finance Director Sandy Pooler stated the town never lost faith in their position that the landfill project was legal and this time around the town would see it through.

In other words, "Go ahead, make my day."

 Ye old landfill

Amherst Town Meeting, which starts November 2, will vote on the same warrant article overwhelmingly passed in 2011 to allow Interim Town Manager Dave Ziomek to enter an agreement with SunEdison on net metering credit purchase and for Payment In Lieu Of Taxes on the solar array on the "new" landfill.

The only question now is will the town be bullied and bluffed into dropping the solar array project on ye old landfill.  Again.

Hadley, our farm community next door, had no problems with this solar array on E. Hadley Road


Anonymous said...

Speaking as a retired attorney, we really shouldn't let attorneys intimidate us.

Rich Morse

Larry Kelley said...

"Full of sound and fury ..."

Kevin said...

They would rather drive electric cars powered by fracked gas, gas that was fracked in someone else's community.

Anonymous said...

"Hadley, our farm community next door, had no problems with this solar array on E. Hadley Road"

On an unlined landfill? Thought not.

Anonymous said...

Green? What does that even mean? Can someone-anyone- define that please. It's left-speak. Drivel.

Larry Kelley said...

Ya can't go wrong associating something with the Irish.

Anonymous said...

I'm just waiting for them to call it a monstrosity...

Anonymous said...

I would love an independent expert to run through all the numbers. From Blue Waves millions and millions to the current lowish figures to the proposed numbers if Amherst built it's own facility, it would be great to get someone to give a hard look at the deal.

Anonymous said...

I would hate to have Amherst make thousands and end up liable for millions if there is a toxic plume that forms at the Old Landfill. This a perfect project for the New Landfill because it is constructed to much higher modern standards. I don't live in Amherst Woods, but I do live in Amherst, and I don't want my taxes to get whacked when they find they screwed it up 10 years from now and want us to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

You got an altimeter on that fancy drone of yours?

Anonymous said...

Looks like more that 400-feet to me.

Anonymous said...

How do you know your altitude?

Larry Kelley said...


Those were taken at 397 feet (to be exact).

Anonymous said...

Larry uses a wide-angle lens in his drone camera - that's what makes the viewpoint appear to be higher than it actually is.
Even though he and I disagree on many things, I trust he's being more careful than the typical drone pilot, since he's publishing the "evidence" of his flights (and they're great photos, by the way, much like the ones he takes from the ground) - and Larry knows he'll get into really big trouble otherwise….