By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Westborough – A proposal to authorize the lease of town-owned property at the corner of Otis Street and Smith Valve Parkway for a possible solar farm is among the articles Town Meeting voters will decide Saturday, March 15.
The potential solar lease would be on a 29-acre parcel on the shores of Hocomonco Pond, where the Environmental Protection Agency oversaw the cleanup of creosote contamination left by a wood treatment operation that ceased in the 1940s.
A water treatment plant is on the site and much of the land has been capped. If approved at Town Meeting, the town would solicit competitive bids to contract a solar field on those capped areas, according to Town Manager Jim Malloy.
The Board of Selectmen Jan. 28 reviewed a draft of the 26-article warrant for Town Meeting, which includes a host of capital expenditures and budget items.
No citizen's petitions have yet been filed, but selectmen will not close the warrant until late February.
Among the capital items on the warrant are: $307,000 to construct a new police and fire radio transmitter on property near the Newton Hill water tank; $63,000 for repairs and restoration to the restrooms at the public library; $206,000 to fund replacement of trucks in the Department of Public Works; and $45,000 to replace failing ceiling tiles at Westborough High School.
Other articles already on the warrant include zoning bylaw updates proposed by the Planning Board; a request by the police chief to enable the town to negotiate mutual-aid agreements with other communities; and a $6,000 article that would fund a comprehensive survey of the town-owned property around the Westborough Country Club, to help delineate land that had been set aside for conservation when the property was acquired by the town in 1974.