Town is not a ‘solar park’
Rutland Town has always carried its share of any load, social, commercial, industrial and economic for the state, the county, and the region. Although I respect anyone’s right to an opinion, clearly it is Rutland Town’s responsibility (and right) to make its own decisions as to what character and design is appropriate for its citizens.
In this regard, the elected and appointed officials of our community have a responsibility to our citizens to design a set of permitting guidelines that we feel are appropriate within the state’s desired goals regarding alternative energy systems, and we are in the process of doing just that.
The good people at Cold River Road are not a minority to me, but rather taxpayers of my community that I was elected to represent. That is exactly what I did in contributing my small part to the development of these guidelines, which clearly seek to place reasonable restrictions and parameters on the placement of solar arrays within our borders.
Statements such as “McMansion” and “visual monstrosities to live and play in” do nothing to further intelligent discussion of important issues.
Enid Reiman, as an active contributor to Rutland’s progress over the years, makes many good and appropriate points. While I would agree that it is not appropriate to make our state a “national park,” in my view it is equally inappropriate to make Rutland Town a “solar park.”
Businesses in Rutland Town employ as many, if not more people as any other community in Rutland County, and we are proud of this contribution to the economic stability of our region, though we are a mere 2 percent of the land mass at 19.3 square miles.
That is why I added the proportionality section of our guidelines to reflect that we wished to contribute our proportional share of the solar load for the region and the state. For Rutland Town to be asked (or forced) to contribute disproportionately more land to this effort is neither fair nor appropriate.
Clearly, also, it is definitely not appropriate for others who do not live and pay taxes in our town to pontificate about our community land-use patterns. Our citizens deserve more than that as they have done a pretty good job on their own for a couple hundred years now.
DONALD J. CHIOFFI