The Portsmouth Economic Development Committee sent out about 1,000 surveys last weekend seeking public input on plans for the local construction of wind turbines.
About half the surveys were sent by random selection and the rest were sent to residents with property adjacent to Portsmouth Middle School or Portsmouth High School.
Plans to build wind turbines at the middle school or the high school have been in the works since April 2006, when the economic development committee received a $25,000 grant to conduct its feasibility study. The schools are considered optimal locations to build wind turbines because local school facilities use 62 percent of municipal energy, whereas town departments consume 28 percent and the water board consumes 10 percent.
Residents have until Aug. 10 to return the surveys, which consist of 12 questions as well as a section designated for demographic information. After the surveys are collected, tabulated and the feasible study is completed, the committee will present recommendations to the Town Council.
Rich Talipsky, chairman of the PEDC, said he hopes that will occur in September.
“We’re trying to make a complete report for all the positive and negative aspects so the Town Council and the voters can make informed decisions,” Talipsky said. “The public response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
If the Town Council gives the go ahead, there will be a referendum for the public to decide whether to pursue future wind projects.
Copies of the wind survey are available at the Portsmouth Free Public Library, Clements’ Marketplace and at the town clerk’s office. More information about wind energy and other sustainable energy activities can be found at www.portsmouthrienergy.com.
Surveys can be downloaded there as well. Questions or comments regarding the wind power initiatives can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Christine McCall
Daily News staff
4 August 2007
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