approves EPG solar energy project
OXFORD - With a light agenda for its Tuesday, August 21, meeting, the Oxford Board of Selectmen began its meeting with a question and answer period involving the Town’s EPG Solar Energy project. Mr. Michael Borkowski, EPG Solar LLC’s co-owner, was present and fielded questions from the board regarding the solar farm’s site preparation, permits, etc. Once the solar panels are up and running, Oxford’s municipal electric billings would be reduced by approximately 37% according to Town Manager Joseph Zeneski. Details brought out, at the request of Selectwoman Jennie Caissie, were that EPG required a local agent in Massachusetts who would be represented by Mr. Borkowski and that EPG would provide an insurance policy with the Town of Oxford as beneficiary, as well as a bankruptcy provision. The board voted unanimously to proceed with the lease agreement with a two-year option after EPG’s site review as well as the power purchase agreement and the assignment and assumption agreement. EPG would pay Oxford a $5,000 monthly rent on the proposed solar farm land, beginning immediately, until the net metering credits kick in.
Board reports included Ms. Caissie’s comments regarding a recent political fundraiser held at the Webster 200 Sportsman’s Club by a candidate running for State Representative, Donald Bourque. Apparently Mr. Bourque’s staff had phoned local fire and safety departments, including Oxford Fire Chief Sheri Bemis, advising them that an “appreciation day” was to be held at the club for local towns’ fire and safety departments. It was later learned that this was a political fundraising function for Mr. Bourque as well as a photo opportunity event for local newspapers. Ms. Caissie quoted state law indicating that “a candidate cannot use Town equipment at such an event and that this was a political stunt, a stupid mistake.” She further stated that Fire Chief Bemis would never have sent fire department equipment to the rally if she had known it was a political gathering. The fire chief felt she had been deceived. The board voted unanimously to send a letter to the Bourque campaign making it clear that town resources cannot be used for a political event and that future requests should not be made. A formal apology would be requested. “Do not deceive our public safety personnel,” Ms. Caissie stated.
Selectman Dennis Lamarche indicated that he wanted to get the facts out about the roof leak at the Oxford Middle School. He confirmed that there had been a roof leak but it was handled professionally and was 100% resolved and paid for by the building contracto,r including all time spent by fire, police, and building personnel. School would start on time without any further concerns.
The board also reviewed and approved their meeting minutes from July 24, 2012; appointed Carl Feraco as a Precinct IV Election Worker to serve until 8/15/13; exercised their Right of First Refusal concerning a property purchase located at 62 Old Southbridge Road; granted two more yard sale permits to Ms. Evelyn Auger of 151 Main Street; and voted to hold a spot on the Oct. 3rd Special Town Meeting Warrant for acceptance of Jasmine Road as a public way. Selectmen Lamarche and Michael Voas made it a point to state that the road acceptance is very much dependent upon resolution of any septic problems, road conditions, drainage issues, and proper roadway layout. Town Manager Zeneski then commented that “if the road is not laid out properly there will be no consideration.”
Town Manager Zeneski read into the record notices for the Oct. 4th Special Election for the building improvements to Bay Path Regional Vocational High School with voting hours to be held from 12 noon – 8 p.m. (according to State Law); an invitation from the Historical Commission and the Huguenot Memorial Society of Oxford to attend their annual picnic at the Huguenot Fort on Sunday, Sept. 16th at 12 noon with special emphasis on requesting volunteers to participate in a re-enactment of “The First Settlement;” and a Conservation Commission advisory that McKinstry Pond will be treated for excess water lily growth on Tuesday, Aug. 28th (rain date Aug. 31st). The pond will be closed to all uses including swimming, boating, fishing, etc. on the day of treatment. Mr. Zeneski also provided reminders that the Warrant for the October 3rd Special Town Meeting will close on Tues., Aug. 28th at 4:30pm and the State Primary will be held on Thurs., Sept. 6th, from 7am – 8pm.
Selectmen also revisited their review of local constables and their right to carry firearms in the performance of their duties. Selectwoman Caissie indicated that she had been advised by the police chief that firearms “can be carried discreetly and concealed as long as the constable has a permit to do so.” Board Chairman John Saad noted that there would be a town insurance liability and also wanted proper firearm training requirements to be the same as those employed by the Oxford Police Department. The board agreed to these changes.
- Friday, 24 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News