Despite a slow start, Tisbury’s planned solar project is now getting back on track, Maggie Downey, director of the Cape Light Compact and the Cape and Vineyard Energy Compact, told the selectmen last Tuesday.
The town signed a contract with CVEC in July 2011 to build arrays on the town landfill and compost heap, with construction slated to begin on the landfill array this spring. But obtaining financing proved to be a lengthy process because of the scope of the project, Ms. Downey said. And while excess energy will be sold back into the NStar grid, an agreement between project developer Americal Capital Energy and NStar regarding metering credits was reached only at the end of January.
Construction on that project, which will be on a four-acre site and contain 3,600 solar panels, is now set to begin on or before June 1. American Capital Energy will close on financing this month, after which infrastructure work with NStar can begin, Ms. Downey said.
While these negotiations were taking place, progress has been ongoing for the second phase of the project, which would see solar panels installed on the town compost heap, by the Park & Ride, Ms. Downey said. The project is now at the provisional permitting stage at the town level. Ms. Downey and CVEC engineer Ron Collins estimated construction on the site would start in 2013 as well.
The Department of Public Works needs to find another area to compost while construction is underway, said selectmen chairman Tristan Israel. “Once we have that settled, then in the next year or two . . . we could have the second phase built or started, which would be very encouraging,” he said.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first for new town administrator John (Jay) Grande, who began his new position on March 13. Mr. Grande received a round of applause at the beginning of the meeting.
Selectmen appointed Mr. Grande, along with Jennison Adamson, Timothy McLean, John Minnehan, Fred LaPiana and Amy Ryan, to the newly-created Computer-Communications Committee. The committee will be looking into improvements for the town’s website and phone and internet systems. Appointments will last until June of 2014.
The board also voted to approve a contract extension with Bruno’s Rolloff for the Tisbury transfer station until May 31, 2013. The extension was the last one possible for the old agreement. Fred LaPiana, Department of Public Works director, said the town is accepting bids for a new five-year contract. Three companies, Bruno’s, ABC and an off-Island company, are interested in the bid, he added.
“It’s a good competition for getting the best possible price for our trash,” Mr. LaPiana said. A decision will be made on March 22.
Mr. LaPiana also reported on what he deemed “light at the end of the tunnel” regarding the forthcoming Comcast cable TV contract. In one of the side agreements to the 10-year contract, all six towns will collectively receive $120,000 back from Comcast for obligations not completed under the previous contract, he said. Tisbury’s share is $22,000, which the town plans to use to increase public access to other meetings, such as planning board meetings. As with current meetings, the planned coverage will be in partnership with MVTV. The contract will be prepared for signatures at the next board of selectmen meeting on April 2.
Though the board signed off on a warrant for the state-wide primary election on April 30, approval of the annual town meeting warrant was delayed due to several late-filed articles. Selectmen said they plan to sign off on the warrant on Thursday.
Selectmen also voted to renew the beer and wine licenses for Blue Canoe Grille and Saltwater Restaurant, and scheduled a public hearing regarding the revocation of Rocco’s Pizzeria’s beer and wine license for April 2.