MONMOUTH — Voters in Monmouth will have their say Tuesday on a moratorium that could halt a 55-acre solar project at 483 Ridge Road.

The moratorium, which would halt all construction or operation of commercial solar energy facilities and any town action dealing with applications for licenses, was placed on the March ballot in December, following a 3-2 vote by the Monmouth Select Board.

Voting is to be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Monmouth Academy gymnasium at 96 Academy Road.

The moratorium was placed on the ballot in response to a project planned by Longroad Development Co., a Boston-based renewable energy development firm, that would place about 36 acres of solar equipment, including 8-foot-high panels, on 55 acres of leased land, and produce 4.95 megawatts exclusively for Bath Iron Works.

The project’s website touts $5 million taxable value for Monmouth, but the project would qualify for a state exemption that would allow the company to not pay property taxes, with the state’s reimbursing the town for half the taxes that would have been paid.

The project’s website also reported the solar array would be “no additional burden to town services,” and be obscured by a foliage barrier.

Selectman Mike Minkowsky, who voted in the majority, said the goal of the moratorium is not to stop the project, but to study its impacts of the project and measure the ordinance based on those impacts. He said the moratorium was “borne from the concerns of citizens.”

Selectman Douglas Ludewig, who voted in the minority, said he voted against a moratorium on the ballot because he believed the town’s existing ordinance sufficiently address the town’s needs.

The draft moratorium would be retroactive to Nov. 18, 2020, when ordinance changes passed through the Town Meeting, which added language for commercial solar projects, went into effect.

In February, David Kane, director of Longroad Development, said some residents’ opinions of the project changed after they offered feedback on it. Kane also said the passing of new ordinance language and the vote to put the moratorium on the March ballot seem to conflict.

That moratorium would be in effect for 180 days, beginning Nov. 18, 2020, but could be extended by the Select Board.

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