Council to consider solar array moratorium; to receive budget

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The Common Council will consider authorizing a public hearing on the imposition of a moratorium on solar arrays within the city during its next meeting to be held at
7 p.m. Wednesday in Common Council Chambers of City Hall.

During the Aug. 25 Common Council meeting, councilors discussed the need to develop a better policy when it comes to solar power developments.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, local businessman and Zoning Board of Appeals member James DiCastro urged councilors to draft specific requirements for solar power companies wishing to construct developments — known as “solar farms” — within the city.

Earlier last month, the ZBA voted unanimously against granting a special area variance to Turin Road Solar, LLC — whose parent company is Seaboard Solar— so that it could construct a proposed 31-acre solar array in a wooded area off of Ironwood Drive and adjacent to a residential neighborhood. Rome Attorney J. Kevin O’Shea, 6384 Ironwood Drive, as well as several members from the community, argued against the solar array, citing concerns for flooding, lower property values, disruption to wildlife and noise pollution, among others.

During councilor comments, Third Ward Councilor Kimberly Rogers said council members were in the process of having legislation drafted to create a moratorium of between six months to a year on proposals for such projects and give them time to develop new rules, and tools, when it comes to solar projects.  

Also on the agenda:

Tabled Ordinance 9468A, amending the Rome Code of Ordinances Chapter 80 — Zoning Code and Related Maps to include the new Heritage District-Erie Canal (HD-EC) Zone.

Tabled Resolution 69 authorizing an appointment to the Board of Assessment Review for the city.

Ordinances:

Authorizing the acquisition of real property related to the public right-of-way for the Mohawk River Trail Phase 2 Project in the amount of $70,000.

Authorization to execute customer project commitment as it pertains to the city LED street lighting.

Authorizing Mayor Jaqueline M. Izzo to execute lease agreements with Enterprise Fleet Management for leasing five vehicles.

Authorizing a six-month moratorium with respect to the establishment and construction of solar arrays within the city.

Work sessions have also been scheduled for the city’s proposed annual 2022 budget, to be held in the Caucus Room on the second floor of City Hall.

Work sessions are scheduled as follows: Sept. 22: budget review with city treasurer at 5:30 p.m. and budget review with Corporation Counsel at 6 p.m.; Sept. 29: Budget review with IT support (M.A. Polce) at 5 p.m. and budget review with city Public Works at 5:45 p.m.; Oct. 6: budget review with Rome Fire Department at 5:30 p.m. and budget review with city Parks and Recreation at 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 13: budget review with Rome Police Department at 5 p.m. and budget review with city Code Enforcement at 5:45 p.m.

Rome Shines Beautification Awards will also be presented to the following:

First Ward: George and Samantha Steck, 811 Harding Blvd.

Second Ward: Mitch and Darlene Lemaire, 6592 Evans Road.

Third Ward: Don and Anne Van Dreason, 425 S. Jay St.

Fourth Ward: Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Worlock, 734 W. Liberty St.

Fifth Ward: Joe Ferlo, 925 Turin St.

Sixth Ward: Larry and Suzanne Barto, 1309 Bedford St.

Seventh Ward: Frank and Ginette Griffo, 505 E. Locust St.

City-wide: Pat Gossnier, 1015 Clinton St.

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