MECHANICAL FALLS – City council voted 2-2 Thursday night, stopping a public hearing on a six-month moratorium on approval of commercial alternative energy facilities.
Code enforcement officer Alan Plummer said the Planning Council had suggested banning installations that use wind, solar, hydro or biomass energy to generate at least 125 kilowatts of electricity. Plummer said the 180-day moratorium would give the city time to write an ordinance to control the location, installation and operation of the facilities.
Last month, the Planning Council approved a solar farm with 9,288 panels on nearly 10 of the 42.65 acres in a rural area of North Street. Last year, one with 14,031 solar panels on 19.96 acres of the 37.8 acres off South Main Street / Route 11 was approved.
Councilor Paula Stotts proposed that the public hearing be held on Monday; Darrell Young supported it.
Councilors Tarsha Downing and Rose Aikman voted against the motion.
Councilors unanimously approved a public hearing Monday on the remote meeting policy.
In other business, council approved the appointments of Treasurer Lisa Prevost and Plummer to the City Manager’s Search Committee.
Acting director Mitch Berkowitz said nine people applied. There are 29 communities in Maine looking for municipal managers, he said.
Also on Monday, the board will also attempt to appoint a fifth member for the remainder of the year. Members stalled on the issue three times over the past month, voting 2-2 each time.
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