Carbondale’s Delaney Park solar array location still in doubt
Post Independent staff
CARBONDALE — The Board of Trustees will again take up the question of if and where to build a ground-mounted solar panel array in the town-owned Delaney Nature Park, located in the bottomlands at the northeastern section of town.
The town in January asked for proposals from solar contractors about a program to place solar panels on town-owned property, as a way of meeting the town’s goal of generating 30 percent of municipal energy needs from renewable resource by 2015.
The contractor picked to do the job, Sunsense Solar in Carbondale, winnowed a list of 14 potential sites down to three — part of the roof of the Third Street Center; the roof of the town’s Public Works shop; and somewhere either on or adjacent to the Roaring Fork Water Treatment Plan situated at the southwestern corner of the Delaney Nature Park.
But the Nature Park proposal involves two potential sites within the park, which has generated some controversy among local residents.
Site A is to the southeast of the Water Treatment Plant, but within an area designated as open space multi-use in the 2003 Nature Park Site Master Plan, according to a memo to the trustees from Town Manager Jay Harrington.
Site B is closer to the water treatment plant, and is the site recommended by the town’s Parks and Rec Commission and the town’s Environmental Board.
At its June 24 meeting, Harrington reported to the trustees, the Environmental Board concluded that Site B would “keep the industrial elements together and not spread them throughout the park,” as well as provide an educational opportunity for people visiting the park by using signs to explain the purpose of the solar array.
At a meeting on June 26, Harrington continued, the Parks and Rec Commission took comments from the public attracting approximately 10 people to the meeting, some of whom opposed the placement of solar equipment in the park. In a vote favoring Site B, the commission members urged the town to allocate money for landscaping, fencing, irrigation and other measures to soften the visual impact of the solar equipment.
Town staff are hoping for some direction from the Board of Trustees concerning how to proceed with the project.
In other action, the trustees will receive an update on plans for improvements to Highway 133, and discuss an application by local resident A.J. Hobbs to represent Carbondale on the Garfield County Energy Advisory Board, which meets monthly.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. tonight at Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave.
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