The July 21 Township Council meeting continued the solar energy discussion that began at the last meeting on July 7.
The issue is in regard to the possible construction of a solar field in Moorestown that would create enough energy to run the municipal buildings.
“We got a solar 101 course at our last meeting,” Township Manager Scott Carew said. “Now we have to decide how we are going to move forward.”
At the July 7 meeting, Kathy Ward, chairperson of Sustainable Moorestown, outlined the possible uses of solar energy in town. The study done by Sustainable Moorestown found solar fields are a possibility in Moorestown, but recommended bringing in a professional engineer to create a proposal for how to move forward.
The discussion at the July 21 meeting revolved around what steps the township would take to begin the process.
“I’m in favor of trying to get things done now,” Deputy Mayor Stacey Jordan said. “We can’t keep putting things off and this is a chance for us to make a decision that can take effect right now.”
But, while Carew and Jordan were in agreement to move forward, Councilman Greg Newcomer was hesitant to appoint a new engineer for the study.
“We have already done a study that cost us $50,000 or $60,000,” Newcomer said. “I think it would be smart to look over that study before we begin a new one.”
Newcomer cited the process as a key component to the solar energy project. He was in favor of doing more research internally before seeking external resources; however, he was in favor of looking into the idea of solar energy.
“I have been recommending a solar project for six years,” he said. “I do agree that we need to move forward with it.”
Despite the opposition from Newcomer, the council eventually agreed to bring in Maser Consulting P.A. to present a proposal for the consulting work.
The agreement came after Carew and Jordan assured Newcomer that before the contract would be awarded, the proposal would be looked over by the council in regard to cost.
“The role of the consultant is not to design the solar field,” Carew said. “They will just provide us with information about what steps need to be taken to move forward with this process.”
In other news:
• Theresa Miller, director of recreation, presented a possible replacement for the Jeff Young Hockey Rink that was demolished recently. The plan that was presented offered two possibilities: one rink that would cost $25,000 to $30,000 that would suffice as a recreational, non-league rink and one rink that would cost $85,000 and $100,000 that would suffice as a league rink.
The council agreed to look into the possible costs and proposals before making a decision.
• Council appointed Gina Zegel to the Appearance Committee.
• Council awarded a contract to Level-1 Construction for $561,000 for ultraviolet disinfection replacement at the wastewater treatment plant.
• The next council meeting will take place on Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m.