Changes to a proposed wind farm in Sheffield and Sutton will put Barton in the center of activity and that has some residents concerned.
Residents urged selectmen during a meeting of the board Monday night to file for party status with the Vermont Public Service Board so the town can have a say in the process, Rupert Chamberlin, chairman of the board, said Wednesday.
“Near as I can tell, there is a lot of concern,” Chamberlin said. “But the select board hasn’t taken a stand yet.”
Chamberlin said the town had filed for party status before, but was denied. But with the changes proposed, residents want the town to try again. Chamberlin said the process to intervene was started Tuesday and the board will know more at their next meeting Nov. 6.
UPC Vermont Wind, a company based in Newton, Mass., filed an amended petition with the PSB Oct. 12. The new plan calls for 16 turbines instead of the original 26. Two will be on Norris Mountain in Sutton and the rest will be located in Sheffield. The proposed turbines will have blades about 22 feet longer than those earlier planned, but by changing the location, UPC claims fewer people will see them.
Also changed is the route trucks will take to bring the turbines to the proposed sites. Trucks hauling the equipment will leave I-91 at Exit 25, traveling through Barton on New Duck Pond Road. That is the crux of the concern – whether the town roads can handle such heavy truck traffic. Opponents to the project have also expressed dismay that 14 of the wind turbines will be visible from Crystal Lake State Park.
Chamberlin said representatives from UPC have not approached the town officially. Erik Filkorn, a spokesman for UPC, said Wednesday the company will be meeting with selectmen “very soon.”
By Jeanne Miles, Staff Writer
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