Rescue Candlewood Mountain is a coalition of area residents that strongly supports renewable energy if it is properly sited. There should not be a tradeoff between preserving our forests, farms and neighborhoods and clean energy. We believe clear cutting almost 70 acres of Core Forest (approximately 15,048 trees) for a solar power plant is not the way to protect our environment.
Residents of New Milford won’t have reduced utility bills from this project. The power has been contracted to Massachusetts companies. CT’s Department of Energy and the Environment passed on this project because “officials believed the projected power prices were too high…”
The CT Siting Council ignored objections from the State Departments of Agriculture and Energy and Environment. They ignored facts presented by residents and experts. The CT Siting Council has sole jurisdiction for approving this power project – and overrode our local town boards and commissions.
Candlewood Solar will operate in secrecy. Candlewood Solar has no obligation to file personal property declarations, income, expense or similar forms. In January 2017 former Mayor David Gronbach cast the tie‐ breaking vote at the Town Council to approve a PILOT agreement with Candlewood Solar. PILOT agreements are supposed to protect the Town. This agreement fails on that. With his vote New Milford waived its rights to audits or otherwise inspect records or declarations.
There is NO Development and Management Plan ensuring the protection of neighboring properties, Candlewood Lake, vernal pools, wildlife and core forest growth on Candlewood Mountain. Candlewood Solar withdrew their plan from the Siting Council.
The Town Council appropriated funds for plan review to ensure the protection of our water resources and environment. The plan is contingent on approval from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), which has rejected three plans to date. Today, there still is no plan.
Will New Milford taxpayers be responsible for the costs of remediation and decommissioning? Remember Century Brass? There is NO Decommissioning Plan.
Candlewood Solar should pay almost three times the amount of taxes that were agreed to. The abated tax schedule depicts incredibly low payments, starting at $75,000 and breaking $80,000 in year five. That’s less than the average cost of one town employee’s salary with benefits.
There are no long‐term jobs and no agreement to hire locally for construction. Once operational, the site will be visited by one to two pick‐up trucks on average three to four times per year. The facility will not be occupied or staffed during normal operation.