Hopkinton council sets hearing on proposed Route 91 solar project

Hopkinton council sets hearing on proposed Route 91 solar project

The Westerly Sun

HOPKINTON — The Town Council has set a hearing date for petitions by the developers of a proposed solar energy project to amend the town’s zoning ordinance and future land use map. At the Monday meeting, council members agreed on a June 5 hearing for the project, which would be built by Solar Renewable Energy LLC & Peloquin Builders at the junction on Route 91 near the Chariho Baptist Church.

The project, the details of which were not provided at the council meeting, will be presented to the Hopkinton Planning Board on May 3. If approved, it would be the second solar project in Hopkinton; construction is underway on Bank Street Solar, a 500-kilowatt array, in Hope Valley.

In other business, Town Manager William McGarry briefed the council on the recent water outage and subsequent boil water advisory affecting Richmond and 50 Hopkinton customers who are connected to the Richmond water system. Service was interrupted on April 15, when a gauge on a water tank malfunctioned, allowing it to run dry. The water was restored in three hours, but the Rhode Island Department of Health ordered Richmond to chlorinate the water system and instituted a boil water advisory until it could be determined that there were no bacteria in the water samples. The boil water advisory was lifted on April 21.

“Finally on April 21, the Rhode Island Department of Health after much controversy informed Richmond and Hopkinton that they had lifted the boil water advisory as all the sample tests that were taken were negative and the situation was back to normal. I’d just like to say, at no time in all the tests that were conducted by the Rhode Island Department of Health, both before and after the chlorination, did they detect any bacteria,” McGarry said.

McGarry also thanked Richmond Town Administrator Karen Pinch for keeping Hopkinton officials informed throughout the process.

The council continued to deal with the persistent issue of double utility poles. Of the town’s 4,600 poles, 84 are double, and the town wants to have the redundant poles removed. The process has been complicated by the fact that three companies are involved: Verizon, Cox, and National Grid.

“The number of double utility poles remains the same,” McGarry said. “We’ve gotten 31 sets of cables from Verizon off the wires, and they finished another eight last week. So, Verizon seems to be out of the picture, which will now allow Cox and National Grid to remove their wires from the poles, and then National Grid will move the poles. There’s a protocol they have to go through, and dealing with the three utility companies is quite an experience. We are making progress.”




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