A local bank feels its attempt to save some green by going green may be under attack by the City of Weston. In February 2013, Bank of Weston installed solar panels at its location on Highway 45 in Weston. Since, the Weston Planning and Zoning Commission set out to review its policies and to add a section governing solar energy installations. A public hearing on the potential new ordinance was held Monday prior to the Board of Aldermen meeting, with input from Bank of Weston Chairman and CEO Ted Wilson. Wilson said there are three reasons why a property owner would decide to install solar panels – if no other power source was available, in an effort to go green or for economic reasons. “The truth of the matter is, the decision to install solar panels is an economic decision,” Wilson said. The ordinance is divided into sections governing the historic district and the rest of the town, and the suggested limits in the historic district could also limit that area’s economic development potential. “Judging by the number of people here I don’t think people realize what you’re even talking about,” he said, suggesting the City should better communicate its intent to change the zoning codes. Wilson questioned much of the wording of the ordinance, specifically a section that read that only “geometrically shaped solar panels will be allowed to be installed, no saw-tooth panels.” Retired Bank of Weston official Jeff Elsea submitted a written memo into the public record, noting that he was speaking as an independent “proponent of economic development in Weston” and not as a representative, employee or volunteer with any of his various affiliations. He, too, had reservations about the “geometric shape” requirement in the proposed ordinance. “Solar panels were installed on a commercial building in C-2, Local Highway Business District in February 2013,” Elsea wrote. “Had this ordinance been in effect at the time, the decrease in panel surface would have decreased the savings of energy and the environmental benefits over the 25-year life span on the panels.” He said preventing such activities sent the message that economic development is not welcome in Weston and suggested this section be removed from the ordinance. Alderman Joyce Burch said in light of the input from Wilson and Elsea she wasn’t ready to move on the ordinance and felt it should be sent back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further review and clarifications. She also questioned a provision requiring the director of public works to perform inspections on new installations. “Not that I have any problems or questions about you, Mike,” she said, directing her comment to Director of Public Works Mike Large. “But that puts a lot on the director, and down the line it may not always be Mike.” The need for review was also brought up by Mayor C.R. Carter, but as part of a bigger project he hoped to launch to track City government metrics. “To be honest, and to let the public know, with everything going on with the school board and the superintendent, it made me start to wonder how they really know if the school is successful,” he said. Thinking about the measures of success for the district made him wonder if there was a way to track the same for the City. “How do we really know how we’re doing?” Carter tasked department heads with considering how the City could measure its daily services and its successes – or failures – in delivering them, with an eye toward how services could be improved. Also at the meeting, the Board approved a residential sewer rate increase of about eight percent. The minimum charge per month will go up to $10.69 with $1.74 per $1,000 gallons of water. An additional fee will be charged for those contributing wastewater greater in strength than normal domestic sewage. Even despite the increase, the sewer fund will still operate with a deficit, something Burch wondered if the City could better balance out. Carter said he would rather run the department with a small projected deficit that may actually balance due to fluctuations in other costs than to raise rates even higher. Chief of Police Terry Blanton said during the recent snowfall, the entry ramp to the police station partially collapsed, and had to be further collapsed due to safety reasons. Blanton and Large will draft up specs for replacement of the ramp, which may be rebuilt in wood instead of concrete. The Board also approved Carter’s appointment of Dan Oviatt to the Architectural Advisory Board and Peggy Darnay to the Housing Authority Board.