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Schuylkill County News

Pottsville Solar Panels – The Practice Field Red Herring

Earlier this week, officials at Pottsville Area School District said they’re considering alternate locations for some of the solar panels we’re about to finance.

Instead of putting some of the 4,000-plus solar panels on the area known as the football practice field, they will look for other places.

In information disclosed this week — weeks after they voted to approve the solar financing — they said panels could be placed anywhere within 2 miles of the school district.

Why the backpedal? Since the announcement, hundreds of people signed an online petition to oppose moving all football and soccer practices to Alumni Field on Laurel Boulevard.

Even more voiced their opinions online.

And Pottsville Area school board members heard first-hand at public meetings, people were upset about the practice fields.

The Red Herring

In the face of this public criticism, the board seems to be doing an about-face.

Suddenly, they’re looking for alternate locations.

This smells like a red herring.

Why would a group of people who decided in some smoke-filled back room that we should enter into a 40-year financing deal for more than 4,000 solar panels — taking out a $4+ million loan to pay for it — suddenly cave to public pressure?

The practice field use is a distraction from the real issue here — the solar panel deal is not good – not for you who. At the very least, it wasn’t handled in the right way.

But they want you to focus on the practice field.

That’s a Nice Practice Field You’ve Got There – Be a Shame If Someone …

People in Pottsville have a strong connection to that football practice field. It goes back generations. Young kids would go there and pretend to be their favorite Tide players. It was the home to countless informal leagues of kids playing pickup football or Ultimate frisbee and other sports. Every youth football player in Pottsville has used this field.

In addition to that, the walking path around it has provided a safe place for people to get in their walking and running.

Are there other places to do all these activities? Probably. But that doesn’t mean we should lose it on some back room deal for solar panels.

And that’s just what the newly assembled school board voted to do. They didn’t seek input. You’d have never agreed to the solar panels if you knew you’d lose the practice field.

As shocking as it was to hear this outlandish plan, it really hit home for people when they realized they were taking away the practice field.

So, if the school board gives you back the practice field, does it suddenly make the solar panel issue go away?

The school board certainly would prefer it did. A lot of people in the community believe the board has always acted in attempts to “save face” as they put it. Could this be such a time?

That way, you get your practice fields and they carry on with the business of the school as they see fit.

But that’s the real issue — at least for the last ___ years.

The 2-Mile Rule

Maybe part of the reason the school board seems so willing to move the practice field solar panels is because they’ll benefit from the alternate location(s).

We only say “maybe” but pardon us for seeing how the Pottsville Deep State works. It’s all tied to real estate.

Here’s a look at what a 2-mile radius around the school district looks like on a map.

It could literally be almost anyone in city or county politics that doesn’t have some private or public-private interest in that circle.

If the city or County needs a property, they look to their friends to see what properties are available and then pay a handsome sum for them … far more than they’re likely to get if they waited for a private buyer.

So, any potential alternate site for the solar panels once headed to the practice field would likely get money for the use of their roof. It could be ANYONE involved in city or county politics who would gladly offer up their properties’ roofs or fields for these panels … especially if there’s something in it for them.

Even if the above scenario didn’t play out as we suspect it will and NO ONE benefits from the alternate location(s) of these specific solar panels, the overall deal we’re now committed to for the next 40 years still stinks. And even talking about this two-mile rule gets off track from the real issue.

But by the time we’ve run out the clock on the practice fields, the solar panel deal will carry on.

Got a problem with it? Well, they could just put the solar panels back on the practice field.


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  1. Pingback: Pottsville's Solar Panels Will Create E-Waste Crisis - Coal Region Canary

  2. 360Guy

    January 17, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Article from the Daily Caller from December 17, 2019. Food for thought!

    Just another way to look at the solar panel discussion.

    A Ponzy Scheme perhaps?

    • admin

      January 17, 2020 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks! It’s another angle we’re exploring. Article says here, “but local officials have repeatedly questioned its numbers” … that’s not happening around here. These folks with numbers; it’s no wonder the school’s math scores are so low.

  3. Pingback: More Than 500 Join Petition Against Pottsville School District's Recent Boondoggle - Coal Region Canary

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  5. Pingback: Blinded By the Light - The Pottsville Solar Panel Disarray - Coal Region Canary

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