Pittsford board reviews solar farm, BLSG changes


PITTSFORD — Plans for a proposed 2.2 megawatt solar farm to be located on Kendall Hill Road were reviewed by the selectboard at its Aug. 4 meeting, as were proposals to change various aspects of the town’s insect control district.

While those two issues dominated the meeting, the selectboard also passed a motion to refurbish a F550 truck for $8,600, discussed another error by the town accessor, and considered requests for financial funding by two community entities.

 To kick off the board’s discussions, Jake Clark of Encore Solar reported on the development of a 2.2mW solar project. The presentation followed another given by Clark to the Pittsford Planning Commission a week ago in which he outlined the basics of the project, which will cover 11 acres on Jim Buzzell’s property on Kendall Hill Road.

According to minutes of that meeting, the “project will be about 6,000 or 7,000 panels mounted on driven steel posts… There is an agriculture style fence that will go around the project… It will require an extension of the power line of about 5 new poles to get up to the field (which currently produces hay) and there will be a transformer on the site that has a protective encasement that can hold 100% of the oil that is in the transformer with no risk of oil escaping.

“The company needs to file an application to the PUC… (which) will look at all the environmental considerations, aesthetics, and acoustics… The project is in a long narrow field and will be visible from Kendall Hill Road.”

When the commission met in late July, commissioners said they would like to receive and review a packet including a site plan, aesthetic memo and analyses that have been conducted before the commission recommends the project to the selectboard.

Clark said that project developers have not yet filed for a Certificate of Public Good and that it will be applied for in the coming weeks.

He said Encore’s main concern is that the project complies with Pittsford’s town plan.

The matter will likely be an agenda item at a September selectboard meeting, following discussion and review at the planning commission’s meeting scheduled for Aug. 26.

No action was requested of the selectboard at this time.


Selectmen also heard a report from the Brandon-Salisbury-Goshen-Brandon insect control district member Stephen Belcher.

Belcher told the board that the BLSG is interested in tightening up their documentation, including laying out a process for member towns and municipalities to leave the district.

This proposal follows the controversial decision by the Town of Salisbury at last March’s Town Meeting Day not to fund its portion of BLSG budget, which amounts to about $25,000.

Belcher said the BLSG would like to propose three changes to its original guiding documents, which were drawn up in 1978.

The most consequential of these will be a new paragraph that provides a way for a member town to withdraw from the insect control district.

Belcher said the district is currently working with a lawyer to make sure these steps for withdrawing will be in agreement with state law.

Other changes will be the distinction in the documents between member towns and BLSG representatives. Belcher said that as is, both are referred to as “members.”

The BLSG also wants to rename itself Otter Creek Watershed District. The current acronym stands for four towns – Brandon, Leicester, Salisbury and Goshen – that have historically been member-towns. But with Salisbury’s status shift and with no part of the acronym representing Pittsford or Proctor, Belcher says he believes Otter Creek Watershed District is a more appropriate title for the organization.


A motion passed to refurbish one of the town’s highway department trucks at a cost of $8,600. The truck is used for plowing roads in the winter, among other activities.

It passed unanimously.

Highway Foreman Chad Eugair also reported that the department has received a new tandem dump truck that was approved for purchase by the selectboard last month.


The selectboard also reviewed another error by the town assessor. The error involves a parcel owned by Michael, Mary and James Blanchard that was merged with an acre acquired from Carmella Carter.

A grievance was issued when the assessor’s office placed a value of $63,000 on the 1.75 acre lot, which did not account for the additional acre acquired from Carmella Carter.

Selectmen expressed confusion at the wording of the memo from the assessor. It says that the actual lot size of 2.75 acres is valued at $58,500, whereas the error said that the lot was 1.75 acres in size and valued at $63,000. That the larger lot is valued $4,500 less than the smaller lot didn’t make sense to the panel.

Town Manager John Haverstock said he would ask the assessor to come before the selectboard at a later date to clarify the correction.


A request by the Pittsford Congregational Church to borrow the town’s mailing permit was denied.

Haverstock said the church wished to borrow the permit in order to mail flyers for a concert that took place Aug. 7.

Selectmen denied the permit on the grounds that doing so would set a precedent allowing other Pittsford nonprofits to request access to the permit.

Vice Chair David Mills pointed out that the town already gives nonprofits funding and that to allow this kind of access would open “a whole can of worms.”


Selectmen said that the Pittsford Village Farm is welcome to request funding via a grant process.

The organization didn’t receive funding during an earlier round of grant applications. Haverstock said that most of the funds in the last round went to housing ventures.

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