ADAMS -- One report, two interpretations could fairly sum up the tenor of a the Planning Board's public hearing Monday on a proposed East Road solar development and an engineer's recent review of it.
Engineering company Tighe & Bond produced the report, which focused on the stormwater management implications of a 6,100 solar panel installation Apis Energy Group has proposed to build on 11.5 acres owned by the Loholdt family at 217 East Rd. Apis financed Tighe & Bond's work at the earlier request of the board.
Some board members said they felt Tighe & Bond's report raised serious concerns about the proposal, while Apis' representatives thought its suggestions minor and suitably addressed in an Aug. 26 response and site maintenance plan prepared by engineer Charles J. Labatt on Apis' behalf. Monday's hearing was ultimately continued until next month.
One of Tighe & Bond's comments reads, "Improvements to the [town] stormwater collection system have been made within the vicinity of East Road [and the nearby] Lime Street, however, there is a concern regarding the capacity of the municipal system. We recommend further evaluation of the capacity of the storm drain system to accommodate the storm water runoff from the solar project."
Labatt responded to this.
"Analysis has been done for the two, 10 and 100-year storm events," he wrote. "In each, post runoff rates are less than existing. Therefore, the municipal system is not going to be further taxed (and conditions should actually improve) as a result off the proposed stormwater management plan."
Apis' plan details how the company will hire staff to maintain the proposed facility, paying particularly close attention to swales and detention ponds -- which the company intends to build along with the project -- following storm events.
Residents of the road again packed Town Hall for Monday's hearing, as they have at prior meetings concerning the proposal. Many oppose the project.
Board member Barbara Ziemba criticized Apis' proposal over what she viewed as its potential to negatively impact drainage on the road. She said the town Department of Public Works (DPW) shared her concerns. DPW Director Thomas Satko declined to comment on the proposal Tuesday.
Monday's hearing will continue on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
To reach Phil Demers:
or (413) 464-1527.
On Twitter: @BE_PhilD