[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Savoy nixes alternative wind bylaw  

There will be no second showdown between opponents in the Town’s wind turbine development debate.

The Planning Board voted 4-1 during a special meeting on Wednesday night to rescind its promise to bring forth a bylaw that, if approved at a special town meeting, would have replaced the wind turbine regulating bylaw townspeople adopted on Jan. 3. in a 155-56 vote.

“We don’t want to aggravate the town,” said Thomas Sadin, who resigned from his position on the Planning Board during Wednesday’s meeting. “If there had been a low turnout at the vote last week, it might have been a whole different story. But, a significant portion of the town showed up and we have to take that seriously.”

Wednesday’s meeting was advertised to the public but no one attended, Sadin said. Planning Board Chairman Jamie Reinhardt declined to comment about Wednesday’s vote because he said he believed the Transcript has not provided balanced coverage of the wind turbine debates. He did say the board would miss Sadin’s presence.

“Now we have a vacancy that’s very difficult to fill,” Reinhardt said.

Sadin had served on the Planning Board nearly four years and had been planning to resign months ago, he said, in part to focus on his work at home as a sheep and hay farmer at the Good Shepherd Farm. He said he remained to see the town decide on a wind turbine bylaw at the request of Planning Board Chairman Jamie Reinhardt.

While the board put the finishing touches on the bylaw it had spent nearly three years writing, however, Savoy landowner Harold “Butch” Malloy wrote his own, based on a state-designed template for turbine bylaws. Malloy finished his before the board members finished theirs, and the town adopted Malloy’s bylaw, with some amendments, last Thursday.

At that time, the Planning Board said it would still put its bylaw to a vote in the coming weeks, in case the town decided it wanted to adopt its bylaw to supersede Malloy’s.

Developer Minuteman Wind LLC of Framingham intends to build a five-turbine, 12.5 megawatt wind farm on 290 acres of Malloy’s land on West Hill at a cost of about $22 million. They have proposed making a payment in lieu of taxes to the town of about $220,000 a year, which would be subject to negotiation.

The board had said its bylaw would have done more to protect the interests of Savoy’s residents than Malloy’s, in part because it would have placed more detailed restrictions on the height and the potential noise and light pollution of turbines. On Wednesday, however, the board changed its mind.

“What frustrates all of us on the board, even though I can’t really speak for the board anymore, is when someone can come forth in 10 weeks or so with a bylaw based on a flimsy state model and push that through without giving us a chance to present ours,” Sadin said.

He said the board had put considerable effort into collecting comments from those who were for or against allowing wind turbine development in Savoy. Most of those who stepped forward to comment were against, Sadin said, which influenced how the board wrote its bylaw.

He said he did not like to see how much the wind turbine discussions divided the town and looked forward to friendships healing again. Personally, he said he is not wholly against developers building turbines in Savoy.

“I’m more pro than anti, but I maintained neutrality when I made decisions on the Planning Board,” Sadin said. “Let’s face it, we’ve got to do something at some point because we can’t continue to rely on fossil fuels. Wind energy is part of a solution, not the silver bullet. But, we’ve got to start somewhere. I guess that’s the attitude that I might have.”

Selectman Chairman John Tynan said he appreciated Sadin’s work on the Planning Board.

“I’m sorry to see him go. He’s a good man,” Tynan said.

He said the Planning Board’s decision to not go forward with its bylaw seemed to make sense. Selectman Joseph Bettis agreed.

“When people voted on the bylaw last week, they knew that there were two bylaws on the table. Seeing how the vote went, I think people got what they wanted,” Bettis said.

Malloy said he looked forward to regaining some friendships and helping Savoy get the best wind farm it can.

“I had always hoped Jamie would honor the voice of the townspeople and I respect him for pulling back,” Malloy said. “I’ll do everything we can to make sure the developer we’re working with does everything to make the project absolutely perfect, flawless for the people of Savoy.”

By Bonnie Obremski, North Adams Transcript

Friday, January 11


This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.