Contributing Writer

HOPKINTON -  Has local solar power development gone too far? According to resident Joseph Morello at a Hopkinton Town Council meeting Monday, it has. Paraphrasing from a near nine-page report during the meeting’s open forum period, Morello spoke out against the continued development of solar power in historic areas of town, stating developments were affecting the characteristics of these areas.     

“Financially, I understand we have a tough year ahead of us,” said Morello. “My question is what happens when the next tough year comes along? What memories will the town council sell out next? What residential property is next on the chopping block?” 

He then went on to discuss a meeting he had with another Hopkinton resident who has been affected by the continued development of solar power in rural Hopkinton. According to Morello, the resident said that a power substation was built near his property that has greatly affected the historic atmosphere the area has cultivated over the years.  

Morello then spoke of going to visit the resident’s home so he could see for himself how the area had been changed by the construction of solar power. Morello explained that the substation was clearly visible through the trees from the resident’s yard in the middle of spring and mentioned that he could not imagine what it would be like during the fall and winter when the trees had no leaves. He closed his statements with the argument that the reason people move to an area like Hopkinton is for the historical, rural atmosphere and natural beauty and that despite the town’s rough financial year, they should not sacrifice those aspects in the interest of money. 

In other meeting news, an application for a special event presented by Mathew DeFedele on behalf of Cub Scout Pack 1 was approved unanimously. The Family Camp Out, scheduled for 12 p.m. on June 29 through 11 a.m. on June 30 at Crandall’s Field, will be co-sponsored by the Hopkinton Recreation Department and the Ashaway Volunteer Fire Department. Due to the event being co-sponsored, no fee will be issued for the usage of Crandall’s Field. Council members Sylvia K. Thompson and Barbara A. Capalbo were both exuberantly supportive of the event.

Also during the public forum, Hopkinton resident Robert Tuttle addressed the town council and inquired as to why the grass had not been cut on the World War One memorial located just outside the Hopkinton Town Hall. 

“The grass was that high,” he said, indicating that the grass had reached nearly to his waist and that it had not been cut until at least two days after Memorial Day. 

Before leaving the forum he stated “let me know next year, I’ll come over and mow it myself.”

Town Council President Frank Landolfi remarked on the success of the Hopkinton Recreation Department’s Huck Finn Day. On Sunday, June 2, Hopkinton residents gathered at Crandall’s Field to participate in various events reminiscent of the Mark Twain novel. The main attraction was the Fishing Derby where registered children were provided with a bamboo fishing pole and bait so they could compete to see who could catch the biggest fish at the “ole watering hole.” The Town of Hopkinton and The Ashaway Sportsman’s Club were proud to sponsor the event.

Finally, planning board alternate member Carolyn Light was unanimously appointed to a full-term position on the board by the council.

The town council meets next on Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m. at the Hope Valley Elementary School in a special meeting.   

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