Edward Flaherty, presenting information for a potential solar panel array at River Street, came in to discuss this Massachusetts DOER-run initiative at Tuesday’s Halifax Board of Selectmen meeting.
In providing details for the project, Flaherty said the array will be 25 acres in size and consist of 20,000 solar panels. “This is average size for the Commonwealth,” he said.
Selectmen Chair Thomas Millias asked about fencing for the panels and the type of security it would have. According to Flaherty, there will be a six-foot fence around the panels with barbed wire at the top. The fence will be secured with a padlock and there will be 24-hour video surveillance.
The solar array is expected to be relatively low maintenance. Flaherty said, “It’s low profile, doesn’t make any noise.” He said someone coming for maintenance once a month would be considered a lot.
Flaherty has met with Fire Chief Jason Viveiros about the project. He said they have discussed certain requests and said he would make any accommodations that Viveiros considers necessary.
Fire Department Update
The Board of Selectmen approved Viveiros approaching the state about a modification to a grant the fire department received for training purposes.
According to Viveiros, the idea here is to explore if creating a shared training program for Plympton and Halifax residents would be beneficial to both towns. This idea came from results of Municipal Resource Inc’s study of the Plympton Fire Department, which included recommendations for some shared services such as training.
Viveiros said he’s proud of the Halifax Fire Department, but by looking at the study of Plympton’s department, he’s been able to use some of those results and apply them as comparison benchmarks for Halifax. He said it makes it easier to review where Halifax might need some improvements as well.
There are no plans, or anything guaranteed at this time. Vivieiros and the Board of Selectmen said they want to explore this with an open dialogue.
The continuation of the dog hearing for Kimberly Mahoney’s dog has been postponed until April 10, 2018.
Animal Control Officer Noreen Callahan provided selectmen with reports including the recent dog license and vaccinations. It took Mahoney three weeks from the initial February 27, 2018 hearing to get the dog licensed and vaccinated. Selectman Kim Roy said she was frustrated that it took three weeks for this to happen because of how stern the Board was with Mahoney at the last meeting.
The kennel the Board asked for also hasn’t been built, but selectmen were understanding about this because of the weather. Mahoney had damage to her house that needed to be addressed first.
Callahan, who wasn’t able to attend the initial dog hearing said since the incident, people who wished to remain anonymous came forward alleging various incidents but had nothing concrete.
Selectmen asked Callahan if she’d seen the dog out on the property alone. Callahan said she hasn’t seen the dog out at all. She said there has been some heresay of others saying they’ve seen the dog out at 9 p.m., but right now it’s only heresay.
• According to Highway Surveyor R. Steven Hayward, the Selectmen said this week’s storm will put the town over its snow and ice budget. Halifax will need an article at special town meeting to address this.
• Silver Lake Regional School District approved its school budget. They removed another $14,000 from the budget. Town Administrator Charlie Seelig said, “This is not the level we were hoping for…we’ll see how that plays out.”
• The Recycling Department received a $20,000 grant. Funds can be used for public outreach materials to reduce contamination between things that can be recycled and things that can’t. LED lightbulbs was an example that Seelig gave. Seelig said, “If they break, other materials become contaminated with mercury.”
The next meeting of the Halifax Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10. Open session begins at 7:30 p.m.