Thursday, 10 August 2017 19:39

Wilton Moves to Replace Storage Sheds and Expand Solar Power

[A view of the existing pavilion (in background) at Wilton's Gavin Park. Photo by Larry Goodwin.]

WILTON — Two storage sheds utilized by town workers were targeted for replacement at this month’s Wilton Town Board meeting.

Mark Mykins, who supervises Wilton’s Building Department, was in attendance at the August 3 meeting to elaborate on the need for one modern, larger structure instead of two dilapidated pole-barn sheds at the town complex that are used for storage by the Highway Department.

Town employees could rent equipment and perform the necessary construction work, according to Mykins, and thereby save the town nearly $130,000 in costs. Outside contractors most likely would charge about $270,000 for the whole project, he said.

“I think that would be great, to save the town a lot of money,” replied Councilman Steve Streicher.

The town board voted unanimously in favor of the $141,000 expenditure that Mykins had requested.

The board also approved $45,000 for additional road improvements that were identified by the highway department. The extra money will be added to a $900,000 amount that was previously budgeted for the town’s highway needs.

Mark Marino, the newly hired director of Wilton’s Gavin Park, also had appeared before the town board to discuss an expenditure of about $200,000 for a new pavilion at the park. The board members opted to wait until next year.

Marino advised that a larger pavilion would be in the town’s best interests, considering the parties and other events that are often organized in Gavin Park by area residents.

“When we book these things, we want to bring in larger groups,” Marino said.

In other business, Wilton Supervisor Arthur Johnson and the board members voted to set the public hearing on September 7 for a comprehensive zoning policy related to the approval of solar arrays in the town.

The public hearing was scheduled for 7 p.m. in Wilton Town Hall, which is located at 22 Traver Road, a short distance west of Adirondack Northway exit 16.

The stated purposes of Wilton’s proposed solar policy are “taking advantage of a safe, abundant, renewable and non-polluting energy resource; decreasing the cost of energy to the owners of commercial and residential properties, including single-family houses; and increasing employment and business development in the region by furthering the installation of solar energy systems.”

A draft version of the policy differentiates between “solar as an accessory use” and “large-scale solar systems.” It also contains an abundance of provisions related to the “abandonment and decommissioning” of solar panels that are not actively contributing to “electrical generation for consumption or re-sale.”

The Saratoga County Planning Board would review the town’s new solar zoning rules before any formal vote.

If enacted, the Wilton Planning Board would enforce most of the new policy’s provisions. 

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