October 20, 2006

Sutton Residents Raise More Than $11,000 To Fight Wind Project

In what may be a record, Sutton residents raised $7,000 during a spaghetti supper Oct. 6. The money was given to the town to help pay for legal fees to fight a proposed wind farm in town.

The supper brought in $3,500 which was matched by an anonymous donor, according to resident Carol Brouha.

“It was a block buster,” Brouha said Wednesday. “We’re a little town fighting against a huge developer.”

The spaghetti supper coincided with parent’s weekend at the King George School. These parents paid for the supper and also donated money, Brouha said. An auction of donated items also brought in money, she said.

This latest fund raiser brings the total amount raised by residents to more than $11,000. Residents gave the town $4,300 they had collected through donations in September.

UPC Vermont Wind is seeking approval from the Vermont Public Service Board to install two wind turbines on Norris Mountain in Sutton and another 14 in neighboring Sheffield. The developer filed an amended petition with the PSB Oct. 13, reducing the number of proposed turbines.

Sutton residents voted 120-23 during town meeting in March against the wind project. During a meeting in May, selectmen agreed to spend $25,000 on legal fees and hired Norwich attorney Daniel Hershenson to represent the town during PSB hearings on the project. Hershenson also represented the Kingdom Commons Group in its fight against the East Haven win project, which was eventually rejected by the PSB.

Three months later that money was gone plus another $10,000 in legal fees and a bill for an expert witness Hershenson hired on behalf of the town. In a letter to Hershenson dated Aug. 22, selectmen told Hershenson to stop acting on the town’s behalf.

All the bills have now been paid, Town Clerk Dorreen Devenger said Thursday. Future legal expenses will be decided during a special town meeting Nov. 8. The meeting will be held in the multi-purpose room at the Sutton Town School and will begin at 7 p.m.

A petition bearing 69 names was given to the board of selectmen during a meeting Sept. 28 calling for a special town meeting to vote on whether the town should continue to pay legal fees to fight the wind project.

The warning for the meeting asks: “Will the voters of Sutton appropriate funds to continue to fund a lawyer to oppose the UPC Sheffield-Sutton wind project in the town of Sutton and if so, how much?”

By Jeanne Miles, Staff Writer


URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2006/10/20/sutton-residents-raise-more-than-11000-to-fight-wind-project/