Three weeks after Hexagon Energy representatives vowed to shore up their plan for a solar farm in Haverhill and allay neighbor fears over diminishing property values, the Virginia-based company plans to again appear before the City Council Tuesday night.
During a late February Council session, Councilors Michael S. McGonagle and William J. Macek were among those left with unanswered questions about the one-and-half acre array said to be able to power 40 homes in the area of 1037 Broadway. Macek’s concerns, among others, centered around the lack of clarity in Hexagon’s initial proposal. He also touched on aesthetics, arguing that the city wants to prevent something as “hideous” as the solar display currently located on Hilldale Avenue.
Kristine Lane neighbor Diane Hudson argued at the time that a potential 20-year lease is nothing more than a blatant money grab.
“I still think that this is about money rather than about anything else. Nobody is really caring about the people on Kristine Lane,” Hudson said. “What we’re caring about is that Hexagon makes some money for 20 years.”
In supporting documents released ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting, several key city stakeholders are on board with the project. Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury and Environmental Health Technician Robert E. Moore Jr. fully supported the issuance of a special permit, while Building Commissioner Thomas Bridgewater also assented, provided that the blighted property is cleaned before permits are issued. He also requests that periodic compliance checks take place. The Haverhill Fire Department is on board as long as, among other conditions, the roadway is able to support a fire pump truck.
The solar farm installation isn’t the only potential city upgrade councilors will consider this week. On Tuesday night, Attorney Bob Harb plans to speak on behalf of Arrowpoint Burlington in that company’s quest to convert commercial space into residential space at 1 Water St.
As a public service, 97.9 WHAV FM broadcasts the City Council meeting live starting at 7 p.m. from the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers of Haverhill City Hall.