As you have reported, the Desmond-Fish Public Library is seeking approval to build a solar-panel array on its property. When Alice Curtis Desmond donated the money to build the library on open fields recently used for hay, she probably did not expect the landscape to be defaced with any structure, and certainly not one as visually unappealing as a solar-panel array.
Solar energy is vital to the U.S., and we are fortunate that there are potential sites for panels all over the country. The limited open space surrounding the library is part of the open land that forms the center of Garrison and makes its character. We have established a conservation easement on the fields we own across the road from the library and the state has taken action to further this conservation.
Gas stations and garbage dumps have to be put somewhere. The tiny amount of land owned by the library is not the place for them and solar panels are in the same category. Power from renewable energy can be bought through Central Hudson. And the library cannot engage in the commercial enterprise of selling excess power to Central Hudson that would violate zoning and the terms or spirit of the Desmond gift. You will not find solar panels in Central Park or on the Mall in Washington, nor on the White House lawn. They do not belong at our library.
David Ward, Garrison