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Latest Solar Field Landscaping Bill: $19K

Solar panels at the former French's Landfill site. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Solar panels at the former French’s Landfill site. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Brick officials have awarded a contract to a commercial landscaping company that will perform grounds maintenance at the township’s solar field off Sally Ike Road.

Clintar NJ, based in Perrineville, Monmouth County, will be paid $19,778 for their services each year of the two-year contract, which runs until April 2018.

Officials have, at times, voiced their displeasure with having to pay for the maintenance of the grounds at the solar field, which are being leased to a commercial solar operator. In exchange for the using the grounds, the solar, Brick Standard, LLC, has made a payment to the township, provides lower-cost energy to the municipal government and the BTMUA, and will turn over the solar array to the town after 15 year. Mayor John Ducey has held that the contract with the solar company, negotiated under a previous administration, should have made the solar provider responsible for maintaining the grounds.

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“I have a problem with that, personally,” said resident Richard Gross, of the township providing maintenance services. “If the owner of the solar panels is benefiting, he should pay for all the maintenance.”

Township Administrator Joanne Bergin said that since the township owns the land, it must landscape the area everywhere except directly under the solar panels. Since the site was a former landfill which has since been capped, a remote-control mowing device is required due to the incline of the hill at the site.