Solar farm moratorium extended in Mayfield

From left, Councilmember Roberta Ricciardi, Vincent Coletti and Tom Ruliffson listen Tuesday evening as Town Supervisor Rick Argotsinger discussed the amount of salt Mayfield Central School has used previous years. (The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

MAYFIELD — Coming to the end of a moratorium on solar farms and arrays, town officials passed a resolution Tuesday to extend the restriction for another six months.

“Basically, what a lot people approached myself in particular [about solar farms], was the fact that they were unsightly and they didn’t want to see them in our town,” Town Supervisor Rick Argotsinger said.

Argotsinger said the town placed a moratorium on solar farms and arrays five months ago to help residents decide if there were any areas in the town that would be suitable for their placement.

Board members discussed using the former transfer station — off of Sand Hill Road — for the solar farms but the 19 acres was determined to be too small.

“You have to have a location in the municipality where they can be built,” said Argotsinger. “So thats what we’ve determined and what is the least intrusive places for solar array or solar farms.”

In other news, the town agreed to invoice Mayfield Central School District for the salt it has used from the town. Argotsinger said they spoke to the school groundskeeper, who in return, gave them a list of the salt used for 2019 and 2018. He added that billing the school district was done previously, but that the rising cost of the product has changed that practice.

“Years ago, salt was fairly cheap and now [the price of] salt has gone crazy,” Councilmember Tom Ruliffson said. “So the town should get some money back for that.”

The motion was made by Roberta Ricciardi and seconded by Vincent Coletti.

Also at the meeting, Jerry Moore president of the Broadalbin/Mayfield Cemetery Association approached the town for financial assistance. Moore said the cemeteries received a lot of tree damage this year and that the complexity of a cemetery required special equipment.

“In a cemetery, you just can’t drive across the graves with a bucket truck, you need a crane,” Moore said.

He estimated removing a broken branch as low as $1,800 and high as $3,800. Moore said the association had a number of financial setbacks this year including the breakdown of a lawnmower that he estimated the replacement cost at $3,100. He said they also want to seal coat the pavement, which he estimated at $9,500.

“Unfortunately Jerry, we are well aware of what costs are [to upkeep] a cemetery,” Argotsinger said. “I did consult with our town attorney, Carm Greco, and he said basically we can accept donations, but we can’t make a donation.”

The board did not reach a decision due to a disagreement about the cemetery law stating if municipalities can make a donation and support a cemetery without taking over. Argotsinger said he will approach Greco about the law and reach a decision.

The town meets every second Tuesday at 6 p.m.

By Kerry Minor

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