Amaranth Mayor Bob Currie – who has never voted on issues involving the proposed Melancthon II wind project – has written as a private citizen seeking clarification of a statement attributed to Ross Keating, president of Canadian Hydro Developers Inc.Township resident Paul Thompson says Mr. Keating told a group of landowners on Sept. 11 that his company had decided to take the Official Plan issue for Melancthon II to the Ontario Municipal Board “in conjunction with discussions with the two mayors.”
Mr. Thompson, in a letter presented personally to the council, said he had recorded the statement such that he could report it verbatim. His concern was not that Mayor Currie might have spoken to Mr. Keating, but that an OMB hearing would be costly to taxpayers.
“To me, this means that ratepayers will be paying for a hearing when it was council’s choice to be taken to the OMB. This is unacceptable.” Mr. Thompson went on the acknowledge that Mayor Currie “has already declared pecuniary interest with respect to this matter.”
For his part, Mayor Currie denied ever having spoken to Mr. Keating, and recalled that only CHD project manager Geoff Carnegie had ever addressed the council.
As a result, short of asking Mr. Keating to come from Calgary to speak to the council, the mayor wrote to him as a private citizen asking either for a clarification or retraction.
“This (alleged discussion) is absolutely not the case, and I am requesting that you provide, in writing, either clarification of your statements or a retraction of your statement implicating me in your decision to appeal the applications (for OP amendments in both Amaranth and Melancthon) to the OMB,” Mr. Currie wrote, in part, under his own letterhead and over his signature as simply “Robert Currie.”
Mr. Keating, however, has written directly to Amaranth council to clarify his statement:
“During my presentation (to the Sept. 11 landowner meeting), I may have stated the decision to appeal to the (OMB) was made in conjunction with the two mayors (of Amaranth and Melancthon).
“I apologize for any misunderstanding. In actual fact, I failed to clearly state that it was solely Canadian Hydro’s idea and decision to make the OMB appeal. As a matter of courtesy, we advised the mayors that we were going to appeal after making this decision. We did not in any way conspire, consult, or ask advice from either the mayors or the townships relating to the idea of making an appeal,” Mr. Keating says in part.
He concludes that CHD’s only reason is an effort to “advance the over all process and minimize the over all timeline to secure final provincial and municipal approvals and allow the project to proceed.”
In other matters related to CHD this week, a berm, other acoustical screening and landscaping are being proposed for noise abatement at the transformers at the 10th line and 15 Sideroad.
And, in an anonymous letter to the council, a resident has again raised the issue of what the maximum number of wind turbines is likely to be.
The wind plants and smaller projects are likely to be hot issues in the Nov. 13 municipal elections.
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