Town Hall Notes: LIPA pulls plug on solar project; tick task force launched

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | With no solar power installation on the horizon, the field above long-buried trash in Cutchogue will remain as is.

There will be no electricity flowing from the old town dump.

Officials announced this week that the Long Island Power Authority has pulled the plug on Southold’s proposal to build a 2.6 megawatt solar array at the capped Cutchogue landfill.

The town had hoped to take advantage of LIPA’s plan to buy 50 megawatts of electricity from solar projects throughout Long Island at a rate of 22 cents per kilowatt/hour over the next 20 years.

During Tuesday’s Town Board work session Supervisor Scott Russell said LIPA was inundated with applications in the minutes after it opened up bidding on the solar projects.

Town attorney Martin Finnegan said Southold was competing against much larger projects and it didn’t seem to help that Southold submitted its application just 10 seconds after bidding opened.

“Hopefully they’ll reconsider the process,” Mr. Finnegan said.

Councilman Chris Talbot said it’s ironic that LIPA is struggling to add energy capacity to the East End but didn’t go with Southold’s project.

“You never know how things get chosen,” he said.

Mr. Russell said LIPA might have a higher comfort level with projects involving a developer they’ve worked with before, such as BP, which worked on a similar project several years ago at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The town had authorized international firm Sun Edison, which has completed two landfill solar installations, to do the work, and would have received a lease payment of $150,000 per year from the energy company.

Mr. Russell said he hopes to continue discussion of what the town can do in the future to promote large-scale solar energy installations.

Tick Task Force Forms

County Legislator Ed Romaine has launched a tick-borne disease task force and hopes the group will have its next meeting at Southold Town Hall in September.

Mr. Romaine, who appeared before the Town Board Tuesday, said he’s been discussing declaring ticks a “vector” insect, which transmits disease pathogens, with county vector control director Dominick Ninivagi. Vector control currently works primarily to control mosquito populations.

Mr. Romaine formed a similar task force aimed at helping residents with Lyme disease several years ago.

Included in the task force’s considerations will be the possibility of greater management of the deer population.

The supervisor said he’s been trying to get the state Department of Environmental Conservation to treat deer as pests, not wildlife.

Mr. Romaine is asking residents to petition the New York City delegation to the state Legislature to end its opposition to categorizing deer as pests.


The Southold Fish Market has lost its lease at Port of Egypt and plans to move to the site of the former Hollister’s Restaurant, just east of and across the street from the old Mill Creek Inn on Route 25 in Greenport.

Fish market owner Charles Manwaring told the Town Board Tuesday that he will need to sell fish out of a temporary trailer while he renovates the building.

The renovations will require site plan review from the Planning Board, but the Town Board voted Tuesday night to allow him to place the temporary trailer at the site.

“I understand I have to go through site plan and all of that,” said Mr. Manwaring.

Mr. Manwaring told the board he hopes to close on the property later this week.

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