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City Council Approves Solar Project

March 19th, 2014 · 41 Comments · City Council, Development and Zoning, News and Events

In a 15 to 5 vote, the Bridgeport City Council Tuesday night approved Mayor Bill Finch’s proposal for construction of a solar energy project on the former municipal dump in the west end of Seaside Park. The 20-year agreement with United Illuminating calls for 9,000 solar panels city officials say will power thousands of homes through zero emissions energy production.

The project will also generate a projected $7 million in revenue over 20 years. Black Rock City Councilman Rick Torres had led the opposition to the proposal saying it was not a fit for a city park, didn’t provide enough revenues and will create a public eyesore along the harbor. The Parks Commission had initially rejected the plan but approved it at the urging of the mayor.

Statement from Finch:

“I want to thank the Bridgeport City Council for voting in favor of this landmark project. We’re turning a sin of our past into a shining example of our city’s future. This project is a green economic engine that will fuel job creation, generate millions of dollars in revenue for the city, and power thousands of homes through the use of clean energy.”

For more information on the project, click here.

The deal isn’t quite done. The city and UI must still navigate the agreement through state regulatory agencies. CT Post scribe Brian Lockhart has more here.

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41 Comments so far ↓

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Shocking! Once again, the common council fails the taxpayers of Bpt. Just once, I’d like to see them take a stand and not give in.

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    A true only in Bridgeport moment–Rick Torres put forth five amendments to the contract when it was open for a vote, with both the Mayor and the city attorney in agreement they were serious issues with the contract that needed to be addressed. So the council voted to pass with the suggestion in good faith in the spirit UI and the city come to an agreement with the proposed amendments rather than send it back to contracts committee. I have to wonder about what our city council people are thinking–a couple of them publicly stated Bridgeport was being screwed financially by the deal, then voted to approve. However if they had read the contract and PURA file–open to all–PURA did not allow UI to pay Bridgeport more money BECAUSE it is all charged back to the ratepayers and PURA is required to protect ratepayers and regulate rates. That would be us in Bridgeport. Do the council people even understand what they are voting on? I am sure they understand the why, the Mayor said so, but do they really understand what they are doing to each and every one of us? Converting the coal plant to a biomass facility is not only viable, it produces much more energy and is just as green.
    online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140313-912116.html

  • OlofsonD

    What was the point to even vote on it when everyone knew it would get approved? That’s what happens when city council members work for the city. Big thanks to the five who voted against, takes a set of big ones to go against this corruption.

  • OlofsonD

    Seeing Finch smiling, giggling, waving to everybody at the St. Paddy’s parade made me cringe. What a two-faced jerk.

  • James Louloudes

    The sound of crickets.

  • BPT REBEL

    Finch with this project reminds me of a substance abuser, knowing it was bad but fiending for it.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    How any member of the Council with an ounce of commonsense could blindly vote this through is beyond me. There are so many unanswered questions, potential future problems, a bad lease in general … but yet a 15-5 vote passing it right through??? At this point, why even go through the motions with the meetings/votes? Whatever Finch instructs them to do, they do, doesn’t matter. What the hell is going on here??? The corruption has reached a point where it’s dangerous now, where are the feds? I would have thought the Moutinho driveway would have been the red flag, but this deal, which obviously Finch has something personal to gain from, most likely a future employment opportunity, would wave a giant red flag in Hartford. It’s like the taxpayers of our city are being left alone, no help whatsoever.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    I want to thank the 15 dumb asses who voted in favor of this project. I want to thank you for greatly increasing the city’s liability in this matter. Based on my personal knowledge, there will be UI and possibly city workers being exposed to toxic gases and such and WILL become ill. You 15 gutless bastards are responsible. Let me ask you, did any of you read the contract? If you all read the contract then it shows how dumb you are by voting for this contract. COWARDS.

  • Bob from BePo

    Bridgeport’s Democratic mayors have always dumped on Seaside. Mandanici created the dump, aka “Mandy’s Mountain.” Len Paoletta closed it with a New Orleans-style funeral, but then Joe Ganim reopened it, just one of his many crimes. Now comes Finch. Why should he be any different?

  • Bridgeporteur

    Next stop is the Siting Council where Finch has his old bud from Hartford, Eileen Daly of Bonding Commission fame who Finch got to push through the Juvenile Jail on the Pequonnock.

  • BptPorter

    Can someone please provide the names of the council members and how they voted, yeah, nay, abstain, absent?

  • Bob Walsh

    The matter needed a 2/3 approval of the entire membership of the council, not 2/3 of those present and voting. So one person switching their vote, one person abstaining, one person not showing up and it would have been shot down.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Troll, if it were shot down according to the charter language, don’t ya think the venerable city attorney would have argued otherwise?

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Actually Bob, the Mayor worked with the city attorney to find that ever-popular loophole, the contract is not written specifically and intentionally as a contract that needed 2/3 vote, just a simple majority. Rick Torres worked hard to move it to a 2/3 vote but was of course shot down.

      • Bob Walsh

        Jennifer,
        Just because the Mayor and Mark say it doesn’t need a 2/3 vote because of the way it is written, that doesn’t mean anything. That is what the courts are for.
        By the way, did Mark hand out to the council a formal legal opinion based on state and/or federal applicable law and court rulings to support his opinion or did he just ramble on verbally about why he felt so?
        Mark does not like to put formal opinions in writing because they tend to show a level of amateurish legal knowledge that would embarrass him, his staff and the city.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Troll, the lease was presented to the council of dweebs as a regular lease. It was not presented as a capital lease. The city attorney in another of his wizard of Oz rulings made that decision.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    If in some dreamland this council actually had any common sense and voted this down, it would have been amusing what Anastasi would have come up with to go forward anyway, how ’bout “After looking at the charter, since the land was given to the city, it doesn’t need the okay from the council.” Lol, you know that clown would have come up with some excuse to go forward with this debacle.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Considering he serves at the pleasure of the mayor and has no direct line of communication with the mayor, I would hazard a guess all the blame might be better put on the mayor and his management of his workforce.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Don’t kid yourself, Anastasi has a direct line to Finch and Adam Wood.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Hmmm, seems it is Nunn who is the gatekeeper for the attorney to mayor’s office line of communication.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer Buchanan, come on now, do you follow Bridgeport history with past mayors and Mark Anastasi? Mark did everything he could to protect Joe Ganim’s cell phone records during his court case. Mark Anastasi has always been the gatekeeper for all the mayors.

      • Pete Spain

        We are a nation of laws. We are a nation of voters. Bridgeport is not an authoritarian regime. The mayor serves at the pleasure of the voters.

        Stop buying into the cheesy phraseology and its hollow mythos that Mark Anastasi serves at the pleasure of the Mayor … like he’s some feudal concubine.

        No municipal employee should have as his or her function to undermine the city charter and to use legal process to deaden democracy … no matter what his/her boss requires.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          I agree, except “serving at the pleasure of” means a lack of some job security. Having the city attorney’s office serve the mayor, city council, and every branch of our city government is rife with the possibility of conflicts, and when one is appointed by the mayor, one tends to do his bidding–or look for a new boss.

          • Pete Spain

            If a person walks into a law firm and asks a lawyer to assist him/her in committing and/or perpetuating illegal activity … does that lawyer just say “Yes, right away!” … because he/she wants in on the action (i.e., the client’s payment)?

            If so … and whether at a law firm or in the legal dept of a municipality … that lawyer is a detriment to the legal system and to our society … because ultimately we all pay for it.

            In a word, that lawyer is a sleaze. The client is not the law.

        • Bob Walsh

          I believe Pete has marked a FIRST on OIB. This is the first time the phrase “feudal concubine” has ever been used in any context. Am I right, Lennie?

          • Bob Walsh

            Pete, please read my post about Mark’s legal opinions. I believe this furthers your use of the phrase “feudal concubine” or sleaze.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Any truth to the rumor McCarthy insisted on pink curtains being hung around the barbed wire that will surround this debacle?

  • Local Eyes

    No less an authority than the Fairfield County Business Journal has placed Mary-Jane Foster in the winners circle. Read the whole story here:
    westfaironline.com/61461/the-long-and-winding-and-successful-road-to-ub/

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