2011-09-08 / Front Page

Ayr Township

Final Solar Energy Plan Submitted
By Jean Snyder

Ayr Township supervisors looked at final plans for a solar energy project in Ayr and signed a letter of support for the PA National Guard and Reserve at their regular meeting last month.

Jim Madden, senior project manager for Element Power, a Charlottesville, Va.-based company, submitted final plans for a $60 million solar energy project that will ultimately contain about 187,000 solar panels. Madden had first unveiled the plan to the supervisors at their July meeting.

In July, Madden said he has a lease agreement with an Ayr Township farmer for 300 plus acres of land adjacent to the business park off the south side of Fulton Drive.

According to Madden then, the company hopes to sell energy to West Penn Power, whose transmission station is also located just off Route 522 south of McConnellsburg. The location provides for an easy way to hook on to the station. Madden said when the project is “built out,” his company expects to have a 20-megawatt facility. Each megawatt (MW) of solar power provides enough power for 150 to 250 houses.

Madden explained to the supervisors that the final plan contains only minor modifications to the preliminary plan submitted in July, and he said the company is still in discussions with the Fulton Industrial Development Authority (FIDA) regarding the acquisition of a 50-foot parcel of land for a right-of-way. Madden also reported that he has met with and answered questions for an adjacent property owner.

The final plans have been submitted to the county’s planning commission and the township’s engineer for final recommendations. The supervisors noted that their engineer and Madden will be present at the supervisors’ September meeting.

At the request of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS), the supervisors signed a letter of Employer Support for the PA National Guard and Reserve. The letter indicates support for the Unified Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, which is a federal law that protects service members’ re-employment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, including those called up from the reserves or National Guard, and prohibits employer discrimination based on military service or obligation.

During other business, the supervisors were informed that the township supervisors’ conference will be held again this year on Columbus Day (October 10) at the Needmore Volunteer Fire Co.

The supervisors also reminded their citizens that Bulky Item Day will be held on Satur- day, September 24, and items should be brought to the township building.

The supervisors reviewed a letter from the county’s Planning Commission office asking the township to adopt a local waste management ordinance to assist in implementing the county plan. The planning office attached two sample ordinances – one making it mandatory for every business and home to have a solid waste hauler and another that simply requires all solid waste to be disposed of properly. The supervisors tabled the request for further study. According to supervisor Chairman Marlin Harr, the township already has an ordinance in place, and he is uncertain that another one would be needed.

The supervisors received a letter from the Conservation District informing them that the contractor for the Route 30 bypass work is in violation of the Clean Streams Law with regard to earthmoving activities. The letter indicates that the Rt. 30 waste area would be less than one acre, and it now exceeds the planned one-acre limit.

Township secretary Denise Grissinger informed the supervisors that the township’s liability insurance renewal for 9/1/11-9/1/12 will cost $9,117, up $265 from last year’s renewal.

During routine business, the supervisors reviewed several subdivision plans as well as Commonwealth Code inspection certificates issued.

The township supervisors meet monthly on the last Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the township building. The next regular meeting will be held September 26, 2011.

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