Dalton Planning Board Approves Solar Energy Project Special Permit

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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DALTON, Mass. — The Planning Board last week approved the special permit for Citizens Energy Corp.'s solar energy project on the closed landfill with a number of conditions.
The conditions from the special permit that was granted back in 2014 were retained. 
These include the payment of all back taxes, with any associated fees or charges, plus any current real estate taxes prior to issuance of a building or electrical permit. 
The project must comply with performance standards and all applicable federal, state, and local codes, laws, rules, and regulations.
As much screening as possible needs to be maintained between the adjoining lots. 
The project fence line will need to be secured with a locked gate that is accessible to municipal and emergency vehicles.  
The project must comply with all stormwater management regulations and set a bond or some other surety aside to decommission, remove the structures and restore the property.
In addition to the previous stipulations the board added that the project's plan must also be approved by the fire chief, police chief and the Department of Public Works.  
Concerns were raised during the meeting by Fire Chief James Peltier regarding the road conditions, equipment and storage building size and location. He also needed more information on the internal suppression fire system and the water system supply. 
A list of these questions were made and sent to Citizens Energy Corp. following the meeting. 
Peltier said the types of vehicles needed to complete this project will degrade the road and he wanted to ensure that they had a plan to repair it so emergency personnel have access. 
The state Department of Environmental Protection issued the project's postclosure use permit, which dictates what needs to happen to that road.
There is a plan to "adequately" upgrade and maintain the road, TRC Companies Inc.'s Max Lampson said. 
TRC Companies is representing Citizens Energy for solar permitting matters. 
The road also has about an 8 elevation foot difference and the plan is to grade the road out to make sure it can be maneuvered by all the anticipated vehicles, one of the project representatives said. 
The proposed access road is built off an existing one and will need to be improved in order to bring the equipment to the site location. 
Citizens Energy has a tentative agreement with the town to use the old road but it will need to be voted on at town meeting. 
Some board members were also concerned because the police and fire training location is down the road from the proposed project site.  
The project representatives said the project should not affect the training location.
Although equipment hasn't been specced out yet for the battery systems it would be up to code using the latest suppression technologies, Lampson said. 
Once the equipment and specs of the project are finalized it will be incorporated in the emergency response plan that will be shared with the Fire Department prior to construction, Lampson said. 
More information on the solar energy project here

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EforAll Showcase and Gala at Hot Plate Brewing Company

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County will celebrate the nine graduates of the 2023 Spring Accelerator Program and award nearly $7,000 in seed capital at their Showcase and Gala at Hot Plate Brewing Company on Thursday, June 8 at 5:30pm.
Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County (EforAll) began its seventh Accelerator in February 2023 and will celebrate the nine businesses who have completed this intensive program. They spent 12 weeks learning from experts on a variety of topics about business. With the help of 27 volunteer mentors, the entrepreneurs have developed their plans to build and sustain their businesses. 
The ceremony will feature pitches from nine graduates, a speech presented by one of the graduating cohort members, and distribution of the $7,000 prize pool. Prior to the ceremony, the graduates have been invited to table and showcase their businesses as well as sell goods between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. The ceremony will begin at 6:30pm. 
The event will begin at 5:30pm on Thursday, June 8.
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