HANSON – The Board of Selectmen have agreed to work with Hanson and Hanover state representatives toward naming the Winter Street bridge connecting the two towns in honor of the late Charles Mann – a past state representative and a House Minority Whip, Hanson town moderator and member of the town’s school committee, Mann also served as a Plymouth County deputy sheriff and many other town and regional boards and committees. He was a graduate of Hanover High School and an Army veteran.
Selectmen also agreed, during the Tuesday, Feb. 13 meeting to agree to a net metering agreement to purchase power for municipal buildings from Blue Wave solar power in Westport, pending contract approval by town counsel.
Hanson’s state Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Duxbury, briefed the board on the bridge-naming effort.
“He actually campaigned against me when I first ran for this [office], but I grew to admire and appreciate him because he had a civility about him,” Cutler said. “When the election was over he moved on and we worked together.”
Cutler, state Rep. David DeCoste, R-Hanover and state Sen. Mike Brady, D-Brockton, filed the pending legislation for naming the bridge, which is located near Mann’s family home.
The bridge, unnamed according to MassDOT, was built in 2010 near the site of the historic area where the Teague foundry – said to have possibly forged the anchor for the USS Constitution – was located. In recognition of that, a plaque or historic marker is being considered as part of the bridge-naming, on or near the span.
“This would be paid for by the state, by MassDOT,” Cutler said. “We’d love to have your support for this legislation. The board voted 5-0 to grant that support. His next stop is to the Hanover Board of Selectmen to obtain their backing.
Any Teague historic marker would be handled by the towns. Selectman Laura FitzGerald-Kemmett, a former chairman of the Community Preservation Commission (CPC), said that as an historic site, the placement of a Teague marker might be eligible for CPC funding.
Cutler also announced a $20,000 earmark had been released by the governor to fund water quality study of Wampatuck Pond.
“It’s a modest amount of money, but everything helps in this environment,” he said offering to support similar “smaller-dollar items” during Ways & Means Committee hearings.
Blue Wave Senior Director Elizabeth Glynn presented the proposal.
“By participating in our solar farm, the town of Hanson can save significantly on its energy costs,” she said. “Our mission is to make solar energy available to everyone everywhere so communities can take control of their energy production and consumers can choose local, low-cost power.”
A “B” corporation, the company operates on a mission for societal change although it is a profit-seeking enterprise. Hanson was offered net metering credits at a 22-percent discount, which could provide the town 405,000 kilowatt hours of its annual municipal electrical consumption for an estimated saving of $14,700 a year and $294,000 (possibly $323,000) over 20 years. The company would provide the first 100, kilowatt hours – valued at about $16,500 – free during the first year.
At this point, residential customers are not included and the program would not place solar panels in town. Several area towns and four housing authorities have signed onto the program.
“It would not preclude us from moving forward … should we choose to put something [solar panels] up at the hospital or at other sites,” Town Administrator Michael McCue said. “We will continue to pursue our own projects.”
The deadline for a purchasing agreement is Wednesday, Feb. 28 because the state’s incentive program is changing later this year .
The board supported the program, but wanted town counsel to review the contract so any concerns could be acted on at the Tuesday, Feb. 27 meeting.