ELLSWORTH — The City Council will hold a public hearing on a proposed solar energy agreement at its Monday, Oct. 19, meeting. A council vote on the plan is set to follow the hearing. The council also invites the public to discuss the search for a city manager at a forum on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Both meetings will be streamed live on the city of Ellsworth’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and Spectrum Channel 1303.
The city in November 2019 put out a request for proposals seeking a firm to install solar panels at several possible sites. Under a potential power purchase agreement, the city would buy power from the farm at a fixed rate to offset municipal energy costs, but would not own or manage the solar development.
The council has selected Portsmouth, N.H., renewable energy company SunRaise Investments for the project.
The solar public hearing follows an Oct. 15 joint council and Planning Board workshop that laid out plans, which include the Mariaville Road 11,000-panel solar array approved by the Planning Board in September, but not yet built, and an additional, larger adjacent array. Together, the arrays could provide solar-powered electricity for all city buildings and schools, with an estimated savings of $3.6 million over 20 years, the lifespan of commercial solar panels, according to information presented at the meeting.
The council meeting starts at 7 p.m., with the public hearing 11th on an agenda of 20 items.
The Oct. 21 city manager search meeting is an opportunity for the public to “express what qualities, education, background and experience the new city manager should possess to successfully manage the city,” according to the meeting notice. City Manager David Cole announced his retirement in August, which was effective at the end of September. Ellsworth Police Chief Glenn Moshier was named interim city manager until a new city manager is hired. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.