Solar panels discussed in Planning Board report
By David Yarger
On Monday night, the Town of Wheatfield Town Board met for its second regular board meeting of the month. The meeting was rather light with Supervisor Don MacSwan and Town Attorney Matt Brooks not in attendance, but Councilman Larry Helwig sat in for MacSwan to take care of some town business.
Recently, the town accepted bids for refuse waste collection and disposal, and recycling collection and processing. Bids were received from Waste Management and Modern Corporation for $224.65 per unit and $189.96 per unit, respectively. With Modern coming in as the low bid, the Town Board awarded the contract to the Lewiston corporation. The contract is for four years starting Jan. 1, 2019 and gives the town the option for two, two-year extensions.
In years past, Modern was under contract with the town, so the two parties are familiar with each other. Helwig said the contract with Modern is good for the town.
"Our recycling program takes away a lot of tonnage that we'd normally have to put into a landfill," Helwig said. "I think we have one of the better recycling programs in the county. ... With those large recycling (bins), I know every two weeks when I put mine out to the curb it's full. All of that paper, plastic and glass cuts down on the tonnage and, hopefully, everybody keeps doing their due diligence on recycling. It cuts down on that amount of money that we have to pay for garbage pickup."
MacSwan said in the past, the board has been pleased with the work Modern has done in its time with the town.
According to the agenda, Dawn Timm, director of the Niagara County Division of Environmental Solid Waste, said, "This unit rate is relatively standard for the industry, and, in fact, many other municipalities pay a higher unit rate. Very few pay a lower rate."
In other news:
• The Town Board listened to the town's Planning Board report from Tim Zuber of Wendel Engineering, the town's engineering firm. During the report, Zuber mentioned a proposal from Borrego Solar to place a 6.3 megawatt ground-mounted utility scale solar energy system at 2469 Lockport Road.
The property is just over 72 acres, and would be split with approximately 13.7 acres of panels on the north side and approximately 16.5 acres on the south side. A public hearing began July 11 and continued on Aug. 8 of the matter. Zuber said several residents came out and voiced opinions about the proposal. He added that the Planning Board issued a negative declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and no further action was taken.
Zuber later said the Planning Board tabled the proposal until the details of a pilot agreement could be finalized with the town attorney.
• The Town Board set Halloween trick or treat hours from 4 to 8 p.m. Recreation Director Mike Ranalli said the four-hour period is what is typical year in and year out.
• The Town Board also scheduled a public work session regarding the 2019 budget. The session will start at 6 p.m. on Oct. 10.
The next Town of Wheatfield Town Board meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1.