Solar panel project causes arguments in Southington - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Solar panel project causes arguments in Southington

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Solar panel project causes arguments in Southington (WFSB) Solar panel project causes arguments in Southington (WFSB)

Some Southington residents have taken their local government to court after the town entered into an agreement to install solar panels in a beloved meadow.

While some said green energy shouldn’t invade green space, others think it is an opportunity to save some taxpayer dollars.

“I take my grandchildren there, I walk my dog there. In this beautiful pristine meadow...and to have it destroyed,” said resident Carole Peterson.

The town planned to install a solar panel farm to cut energy expenses, but residents said they didn’t get an opportunity to weigh in on the decision, and said they didn’t even know about it until April.

“All of a sudden you're going to do something that's going to affect the entire neighborhood...a beautiful area, and we don't even have the right to talk about it,” said resident Richard Panek.

In September, the town entered into an agreement with a company called Greenskies to install solar panels in Hatton Meadow, a field next to the Hatton Elementary School.

Residents took the matter to civil court before construction could begin.

Last month a New Britain judge ordered the project come to a screeching halt.

“There has to be a special permit, there has to be an application, there has to be a public hearing and there was none of that in this case,” said Attorney David Rosenberg.

On Monday, both sides headed to court again.

Lawyers representing the town and Greenskies asked a New Britain judge to dismiss the injunction.

“If this matter is to go forward, we ask that there be a bond...and I have an affidavit for damages that are being incurred,” said Greenskies Attorney Diane Whitney.

Both the town of Southington and Greenskies declined to comment.

Not all Southington residents said they are worried about the project.

Larry Cotter lives next to the school and hopes the project moves forward.

“It would save money for the school and the town people,” Cotter said.

The judge said he would be making his decision on whether or not to dismiss the injunction this week.

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