By: William R. Dixon
Tribune Recorder Leader
A 3-2 vote of the Watertown Township Board of Trustees turned down a solar and wind power generation moratorium proposed by the Township Planning Commission.
Treasurer Sheila Coats motioned to accept the moratorium and was seconded by Trustee Becky Cambridge, before a roll call vote was taken. Coats and Cambridge voted in favor of the measure with Supervisor- Scott Franzel, Clerk- Tammy Ross and Trustee- William Dixon voting no.
The regularly scheduled township board meeting was well attended as the township hall was near capacity.
Several persons addressed the board during public comments including; local property owners Christine Papp and Ken Boyles, a Samsung attorney, a Samsung representative and a representative from the pro solar Liberty Coalition. All the aforementioned opposed the moratorium while touting the financial and environmental benefits of solar development.
The township’s current solar development ordinance, adopted in 2022, took nearly two years to complete, largely due to COVID meeting restrictions.
The township will now review the Special Land Use permit application from Samsung RE. A committee has been formed to begin the process of examining the documents to insure adherence to the ordinance, as well as employing professional(s) to verify engineering and compliance. As part of the application process Samsung has issued a check in the amount of $162,000.00. All costs associated with the special land use application are expected to be the responsibility of Samsung.
In other township news, the raw sewage complaint on W. Pine Tree Lane has finally been resolved after more than two years, after a pair of different homeowners installed new septic systems.
in an ongoing effort to fight blight, the township is also planning a third annual free trash disposal day later this summer at the township hall and will move forward with creation of a trash removal ordinance that will require curb side trash pick-up for all residents.