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Town OKs $100,000 to battle wind farm  

Credit:  By Susan Smallheer, Herald Staff, Rutland Herald, www.rutlandherald.com 8 March 2006 ~~

SOUTH LONDONDERRY – Londonderry voters overwhelmingly approved spending $100,000 to fight the proposed wind facility on Glebe Mountain during town meeting Tuesday.

Voters also turned out of office a longtime Select Board member who had supported the wind project proposed by Glebe Mountain Energy LLC.

Select Board member Claire Trask was defeated in her bid for re-election by William Wylie, 142-115, according to Town Clerk James Twitchell. Trask was a 12-year veteran of the board.

Wylie is an opponent of the 19-turbine project and has previously served on both the School Board and the Planning Commission.

Trask was a supporter of the recent referendum in town in which Londonderry voted by a 2-1 margin against development of commercial wind facility on Glebe Mountain, the dominant mountain ridge in Londonderry and host to Magic Mountain Ski Area.

Chairman Robert Forbes said the entire Select Board supported spending the money to represent the town’s interests before upcoming hearings at the Public Service Board about the wind project.

Forbes said of 250 people attending the meeting, only about 15 to 20 voted against spending the money. Voters also approved the $1.2 million town budget.

“While it is obvious that our first obligation is to defend the town plan, we must also keep in mind that we do not control the process and our counsel needs to be prepared to argue our financial well-being as a host community should the PSB support the project,” Forbes said.

Forbes said the $100,000 would probably be split between hiring consultants and experts to evaluate the proposal by Catamount Energy and its partner, Marubeni Energy International of Tokyo, as well as pay the town’s attorney, Jon Anderson of Burlington.

To date, the town has spent about $30,000 investigating the Glebe Mountain project, and helping to rewrite the town plan, which was amended to forbid commercial wind towers on Glebe Mountain.

Town meeting voters two years ago gave the board authority to spend $25,000, but Forbes admitted the board spent a little bit more.

In the other Select Board race, Robert Cowles, another opponent of the wind project, easily won re-election.

Source:  By Susan Smallheer, Herald Staff, Rutland Herald, www.rutlandherald.com 8 March 2006

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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