Council Pushes for HHS Solar Action; May Get Own Legal Opinion

Haverhill City Council President John A. Michitson.

Haverhill City Council President John A. Michitson.

Haverhill city councilors are scheduled Tuesday to revisit efforts to revive a stalled rooftop solar energy project at Haverhill High School.

On the meeting agenda, Council President John A. Michitson is among those seeking a “formal” response from Mayor James J. Fiorentini to a request school committee members reconsider a recent vote to reject building a rooftop solar array at the high school. Michitson told WHAV the issue, for him, is about a timely acceptance of net metering credits and other cost savings associated with the project.

“The project on the Haverhill High School roof should be 50 percent complete by January. And, apparently that is cutting it close even now,” Michitson said. “And the reason why it needs to be 50 percent complete is to take advantage of the net metering credits that really make this viable. If we don’t do that, then it will not be viable.”

“We could lose a $2.5 million roof and, otherwise, a good deal for electricity over a long period of time. And at a very low cost,” Michitson added.

Michitson also proposes the council obtain an outside legal opinion “independent from the city solicitor’s office” on the city’s “political process to approve a contract,” including whether or not the school committee’s rejection was valid.

“For example, there was a vote taken in December. It was approved both by the school committee and the city council and I, personally, am unsure of what that political process is. And then, secondly, I don’t agree with the comment from the city solicitor that litigation is not a concern. I truly believe that it is,” Michitson said.

As WHAV reported June 24, School Committee members Scott W. Wood Jr., Shaun P. Toohey and Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello voted against allowing the installation of a 2.2 megawatt solar array and authorizing the administration to complete agreements with MassAmerican Energy, Marlbourough. Members Paul A. Magliocchetti, Gail M. Sullivan and Fiorentini, chairman, voted in favor—resulting in a tie vote. Committeeman Sven A. Amirian, who works for MassAmerican, left the room and did not participate because of conflict of interest concerns.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

One thought on “Council Pushes for HHS Solar Action; May Get Own Legal Opinion

  1. If the President of the City council doesn’t know what the political process is then who does ? Anyone ? Beuler ?? It’s a political vendetta by the Ryan for those who had the guts to fight them. Sadly, these folks are costing the city residents a lot of money. Why is there not an uproar by the residents ? Do they really care about the millions lost ? If they do then they should wake up and throw these folks out next election in favor of some new faces who actually care to put petty politics behind the real needs of the city and it’s residents. They saw through Billy Ryan and got rid of him and now it’s times for the rest to go.