No position on plant yet


NAUGATUCK — Borough officials are still pondering their position on a proposed power plant in Oxford.

Over 100 people showed up to the Board of Mayor and Burgess meeting March 18 to speak on the proposed Towantic Power Plant. Although residents, environmentalist groups, and union representatives spoke for over an hour, the board was not swayed either way.

“For me personally I don’t feel comfortable making any kind of decision at this point and time. I just don’t feel I have enough information to make a declarative statement or decision either way,” Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi said.

In November, the Connecticut Siting Council agreed to consider an application from the Massachusetts-based Competitive Power Ventures for a larger power plant to be built off Woodruff Hill Road in Oxford.

The project had been approved based on permits from 1999 allowing for a 512-megawatt plant on 26 acres in an industrial zone a half-mile east of Waterbury-Oxford Airport. The proposed CPV Towantic Energy Center is now planned to be an 805-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, to be constructed by June 1, 2019.

Proponents of the plant told the board the construction would offer local trade workers jobs and provide needed electricity to the state.

Opponents voiced concerns about the environmental impacts of the proposed plant.

Mayor Robert Mezzo said the board is still gathering information on the proposed plant and the effects it will have on the region.

“I’m not prepared at this time to oppose the plant. I have not gone on record supporting the plant. I think we are doing our responsible duty in seeking diligence to make sure what is the real ramifications of the plant,” Mezzo said.

Burgesses Alex Olbrys and Rocky Vitale voiced concerns over the possible construction of the plant.

“I know there were comments made tonight that this is the cleanest technology out there. That doesn’t mean that it’s clean, though,” Vitale said. “I’m not completely sold on this.”

However, they weren’t prepared to make a motion to either support or oppose the plant without more information.

The citing council plans to stop hearing from interveners on April 2 and expects to have a decision by May 12.

Burgess Michael Bronko suggested the board hold a special meeting on the topic. He felt it would be important to have another discussion before the siting council closes its hearing.