Public hearing for horses and solar farm set

At its regular July 28 meeting, the Durham Board of Selectmen voted to hold a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 25 for two unrelated issues.

At the public hearing, which will take place at 8 p.m. at the Durham Public Library, there will be a vote to exempt horses and ponies from personal property tax.

In its last session, the Connecticut legislature enabled towns to exempt horses and ponies from personal property tax, but towns must still approve that option.

Durham First Selectman Laura Francis said she hoped the Town Assessor and members of the Board of Assessment Appeals would attend the meeting.

Also at the public hearing, the possibility of building a solar farm on town-owned property will be discussed. There have been three potential sites for the proposed solar farm, one on the corner of Haddam Quarter Road and Brick Lane, one on the corner of New Haven Road and Birch Mill Road, and one on Tuttle Road.

Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw has also spoken recently about installing a solar farm on Hubbard Street in Middlefield. The interest in solar farms has been spurred by Connecticut’s Zero-Emissions Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) program. The ZREC program, which is funded through CL&P and UI, allows utility customers to get credit for electricity generated by solar farms they install.

“We did go forward with an application to the ZREC program because we didn’t want to lose the opportunity and we did get picked,” Francis said. “There is no obligation because we were chosen.”

Francis said that Durham’s selection was fortunate because the program received many applications.

The properties are unencumbered and the Haddam Quarter Road and New Haven Road are undeveloped properties with wetlands on them.

Francis said that technical questions could also be answered at the public hearing.



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