A community meeting will take place Thursday, 7 p.m. at Roosevelt School, 160 Iranistan Avenue regarding the installation of a new renewable energy project at the former municipal landfill site along the west end of Seaside Park.
Mayor Bill Finch says he and City Council members representing the 131st District Jack Banta and Denese Taylor-Moye and the 130th District Susan Brannelly and Rick Torres will host a community meeting to give residents an opportunity to learn more about the project. Several council members have urged the city to share more details about the proposal.
Last October the mayor announced a city partnership with United Illuminating for the Green Energy Park renewable energy project, one of the initiatives proposed in the City’s BGreen 2020 sustainability plan to create jobs, save taxpayers money and fight climate change. The planned project consists of 2.86 MW of Solar Photo Voltaic and 2.8 MW of fuel cell energy, according to the mayor. The green energy project will generate tax revenue for the City, and cut down on UI’s dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for citywide UI customers. The project is estimated to pay nearly $7 million in tax revenue under the terms of a 20-year agreement.
It was a very well-attended meeting, each side making their points on the project’s pros and cons. Personally I feel it’s a good start to a green city. I would like to see a PLA on the project where local construction works from Bridgeport are hired first to work there, giving jobs to Bridgeport residents should be the one of the project’s first priorities, not like the State Street fuel cell project where the workers for A-Z Corp came in from out of town.
Not only was the meeting well-attended but the format worked fairly to have many questions answered or contributions heard with time for feedback. Public meetings are not frequently run that way in Bridgeport and community learning is diminished by that as well as City leaders not being exposed to special knowledge and common sense that is resident among the people.
Most people present are supportive of green initiatives in general so why did the “sun deal” have to get labeled a “done deal” before this type of meeting was held? Broader learning about remediation of properties was enhanced last evening. The interest of UI in the entire project and the broad-based funding for alternative energy developments were helpful in opening minds previously skeptical. Mayor Finch should be more confident of his preparation and grasp of the subject than he has been. People are happy to sense they are in the vanguard of something new and good, though as UI pointed out to the audience present to seek a closing of the coal-fired plant, there are two different subjects and they are not related in any primary manner. What happens next? Time will tell.
*** There’s nothing else going on in Bpt but hopes for a real start at Steelpointe, so for now in the South End and shore area it’s a Solar Panels Project that might prove to be energy worthwhile in the future! *** LET’S FIND OUT SOME MORE INFO, NO? ***