LEICESTER— Selectmen learned last night that the town doesn’t appear to have enough wind available to power a large municipal wind energy project.
Selectman Stanley A. Zagorski reported that a feasibility study of three possible sites for such a project indicated that none of the three would be able to produce sufficient wind power to make it worthwhile for large scale use.
The survey was conducted by Global Energy Concepts, an engineering and technology consultancy specializing in the wind industry and was authorized by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
The three sites surveyed were the area above Leicester High School on Paxton Street, the area around Memorial School on Pleasant Street and the area around Moose Hill Reservoir in the northwest area of town.
Mr. Zagorski said GAC reported that the Memorial School area is restricted recreational space, while the Paxton Street area would require a turbine so high as to be considered a nuisance and both that site and the one at Moose Hill could run afoul of Federal Aviation Agency regulations because they are in the flight path of the Worcester Municipal Airport.
Selectmen discussed the possibility of bringing individuals here from GEC to meet with homeowners who may be considering installing wind energy turbines on their property.
Board members also raised the possibility of looking into solar panels as another possible energy conservation measure, and Mr. Zagorski said that Scott Brosky, the man who first brought the wind energy suggestion to the forefront, has already begun looking into that area.
An attempt to create a bylaw setting up regulations for wind turbines was passed over at the annual town meeting two weeks ago because the Planning Board hadn’t had time to review it. The board had indicated it would try to prepare a proposal for the fall special town meeting.
In other business last night, selectmen voted to close the Town Hall on Fridays during the summer months beginning June 4. Building offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. Board members said they will also look into the possibility of continuing these hours year-round as a means of cutting down on use of expensive fuel oil.
Selectmen also agreed to look into the possibility of transposing the dates of the annual election and the annual town meeting so that any changes in the membership of boards would not occur before the meetings the incumbent members had been preparing for.
By Betty Lilyestrom
20 May 2008
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