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Heath eyes solar bylaw, municipal complex

HEATH — Is Heath ready for the sun?

Voters, who placed a moratorium on large-scale wind- and solar-powered electricity-generating facilities, will reconsider amending town zoning to allow for ground-mounted solar facilities at a special town meeting on Tuesday at the Heath Community Hall, beginning at 7 p.m.

Since last February, the town has been off-limits to proposals for commercial-scale wind and solar facilities. In May, the town extended the moratorium for a year. However, during that same annual town meeting, voters unanimously agreed to revisit the zoning at a special town meeting. The Planning Board had expected having a draft bylaw ready by fall, and a wind turbine bylaw to come later.

One article would allow large-scale, ground-mounted solar electric installations of up to 250 kilowatts in the solar overlay districts by right, with a site plan review.

In other zones, small-scale solar electric facilities generating up to 10kW would be allowed by right with a site plan review in the town’s agricultural/residential district, the Mohawk Estates residential/recreational district and in the agricultural/forestry-zoned district.

A small-scale solar facility in the Heath Center district would require a special permit. Ground-mounted systems generating between 10 kW to 25kW would be allowed through the special permit process in all zoning districts.

Another warrant article is to adopt a new zoning bylaw section for “Fixed Wireless Broadband facilities,” to facilitate the provision of high-speed wireless Internet services for Heath.

Another article seeks $20,000 for a feasibility study to provide recommendations for a municipal complex. The money is to come from transfer of available funds. A two-thirds majority vote is required.

The town is also seeking transfers worth $3,253 for a feasibility study to make recommendations on effective use of Sawyer Hall and Community Hall, to address the space needs for municipal offices. A two-thirds majority is also needed.

A second article seeks to raise and appropriate $6,746 for a feasibility study for Sawyer Hall and Community Hall. This article was submitted by the selectmen.

The town will be asked to raise and appropriate $15,500 for a required municipal audit for Fiscal Year 2012.

The last request is to set up a revolving fund of up to $3,500 for a town Board of Health vaccine program. The fund will be covered by receipts for vaccine services.

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