Edgecomb sets Dec. 27 for solar power ordinance public hearing – Boothbay Register
Edgecomb residents can weigh in on a proposed solar power ordinance this month. On Dec. 13, selectmen scheduled a public hearing for reviewing the planning board’s proposed ordinance. Edgecomb doesn’t have a solar power ordinance. The planning board and ordinance review committee began working on one after receiving a New York City-based power company’s application earlier this year to build a solar array on U.S. Route 1 near the Newcastle line.
Syncarpha Capital, LLC plans to construct a 4.9 megawatt solar array with 17,500 panels. The hearing will follow a 6 p.m. selectmen’s meeting on Monday, Dec. 27.
In other business, selectmen appointed Terry Stockwell assistant harbor master. Board Chairman Dawn Murray reported Stockwell previously served 10 years as Southport’s harbor master and had “years” of experience as a fisherman and working with the state in marine issues.“The hope is Terry will serve until June 30, and take over as harbor master next year,” she said.
Selectmen unanimously approved a liquor license for Water’s Edge Restaurant and Bar’s new owner. Selectmen also discussed recent requests to remove privately owned culverts and cutting trees in town right-of-ways. The board meet with Road Commissioner Scott Griffin about these requests. Selectmen agreed the town wouldn’t remove privately owned culverts or trees on private land.
“We may look at removing a privately owned culvert in a right-of-way,” Murray said. “The town uses it as a turn around and so does Newcastle. If there is damage, we may look at cost-sharing it.”
The longest discussion resulted in a no-decision by the board. For the past two years, Edgecomb has forgone a public May town meeting due to coronavirus safety concerns. Selectmen discussed resuming the public May meeting in 2022 without making a commitment either way. If selectmen decide against a town meeting and opt for another referendum, they’d like to create a situation for greater public participation in a pre-vote hearing.
Selectmen are hoping more access to information will allow voters to better understand what they are voting on.
“There’s pros and cons, either way,” Murray said. “With a referendum, if an article is voted down, it’s over. In a town meeting, you have a chance to amend an article and discuss it. So we’d like some kind of public forum along with Zoom conference which allows for greater discussion of questions prior to the vote.”
Earlier this month, selectmen held the first “Meet and Greet” event at the town hall. Murray proposed the 90-minute event which occurred on Dec. 11. She wanted an opportunity for residents to meet municipal officials and other townspeople. Murray reported about 30 people attended. “I met some people I’d didn’t know, and later introduced them to other community members,” she said. “There was even one resident who lived here for 12 years, and met his neighbor for the first time.”
Selectmen are considering holding another “Meet and Greet” in March.