On April 23, 2007, the Fairhaven Board of Selectmen passed a motion to vote on the two 400-foot industrial turbines on Little Bay in Fairhaven. My question is, why the rush? As with any project of this magnitude, let’s do our homework first.
At the meeting, Selectman Brian Bowcock stated, “This board has done its due diligence, we’ve met with the consultants, we’ve met with the developers. We’ve certainly had public hearings at least the last few years.”
Here are some facts to consider. This project has been discussed for at least three years. However, when I asked Fairhaven Executive Secretary Jeffrey Osuch on April 6, 2007 where the turbines are going, he stated that the locations have not been determined yet. After three years, shouldn’t the exact locations have been chosen by now?
I have concerns that we are told to rely on information from the “consultants” who were supposed to be looking after our interests. When these consultants were asked what profit the developer would make, they refused to divulge that information. Maybe being financed with money from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative where the turbines would be coming from would make it hard for them to be unbiased?
Selectman Michael Silvia stated, “And the point is in fairness to the developer, I think they’re looking for an answer one way or the other, and the investor one way or the other.” The question here is, is it more important for the residents of Fairhaven to look at this project and determine if it is in the best interests of our town rather the concerns of Plymouth developer James Sweeney, who has never put up turbines before?
I could continue with other questions, such as lack of information in the feasibility study, noise, hurricanes and lowering of property values. But here is my main point: I understand with global warming and the price of oil, wind energy should be and will be looked at. However, isn’t it only fair and reasonable for the residents of Fairhaven to have all the information before voting to ensure that this particular project and location is in the best interests of our town? Putting up two 400-foot towers is an ominous project which will affect many residents in many ways.
To vote “no” on May 15 would give us time to make sure all our questions are answered. Aren’t the voters and residents of Fairhaven entitled to answers? As Fairhaven Selectman Ronald Manzone stated previously at the March 26 meeting, “People should study the facts.” Let’s take the time to do our homework first by voting “no” on May 15.
1 May 2007
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