| Sep 07, 2016

Solar Proposal for Addington Highlands

Rob Hitchcock, a representative from Abundant Solar Energy, made a presentation to Council requesting a support resolution for two small separate solar projects his company is hoping to build in the area.

Council passed a resolution to support one of the projects, which is proposed along Highway 7, but are waiting on more information for the second project before they would approve it.

The second project that is in question is on three to five acres and Abundant would be leasing the land.

As required by the Independent Electricity Systems Operators (IESO), the corporation that awards the solar contracts, if a site is within eyes' view of a road or building, the contractor is obligated to make sure it is landscaped accordingly, to hide the panels from the eye.

“I certainly do have concerns about it,” said Councilor Bill Cox, whose house is located across the road from the proposed site. “You put up a six-foot fence and I have a two-storey house. Before I could support something like that I'd certainly like to know more about how it's going to be landscaped.”

Hitchcock told Council that he would provide them with a digital mockup of how the landscaping could look at the proposed site for their next meeting.

Township's assets relatively new

Petr Sizow and Alison Fath-York, representatives from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), made a presentation to Council on Wednesday regarding Addington Highlands and their Asset Management Plan (AMP).

Fath-York explained that the province takes data collected from municipalities and uses it to populate their Financial Information Return (FIR), a data website. This information is available to councils and the public and she said that Addington Highlands Council should be aware that it exists.

“Our ministry is in the process of modernizing the website,” she said about the FIR site, which includes financial data from 2000-2015. The data is used by the province to observe trends across all of the municipalities.

Even though Addington Highlands' infrastructure is relatively new overall, Sizow and Fath-York both spoke about the importance of annually investing in infrastructure to balance spending and to avoid having to drastically raise taxes.

“You are stewards of your infrastructure,” Fath-York said. “You have a responsibility to that infrastructure.”

Of Addington Highlands' tangible capital assets, 71.5% is in their roads and 13.7% is in their fire halls and emergency structures.

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