MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council voted 2-2 Thursday night, stopping a public hearing on a six-month moratorium on approving commercial alternative energy facilities.

Code Enforcement Officer Alan Plummer said the Planning Board suggested the ban on facilities employing wind, solar, hydro or biomass to generate at least 125 kilowatts of electric power. Plummer said the 180-day moratorium would give the town time to write an ordinance to control siting, installation and operation of facilities.

Last month, the Planning Board approved a solar farm with 9,288 panels over nearly 10 of the 42.65 acres in a rural zone on North Street. Last year, one with 14,031 solar panels on 19.96 acres of the 37.8 acres off South Main Street/Route 11 was approved.

Councilor Paula Stotts made the motion to hold the public hearing Monday; Darrell Young seconded it.

Councilors Tarsha Downing and Rose Aikman voted against the motion.

Councilors unanimously approved a public hearing Monday on the Remote Meetings Policy.

In other business, the council approved the appointments of Treasurer Lisa Prevost and Plummer to the town manager search committee.

Interim Manager Mitch Berkowitz said nine people have applied. There are 29 Maine communities seeking town managers, he said.

Also Monday, the council will also attempt to appoint a fifth member to serve the remainder of this year. Members deadlocked three times on the issue last month, voting 2-2 every time.

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