Westport – Former selectwoman Veronica Beaulieu has filed a complaint with the Attorney General Martha Coakley, protesting how details of the Town Hall wind turbine plan were changed since the bid was filed more than a year ago.
Any work on the project is on hold until an investigation is complete. A hearing is scheduled for June 10 in Boston.
Beaulieu filed the complaint May 23, she said, because the original bid included a project completion deadline of Feb. 1. Alternate Energy of Plymouth was awarded the bid last spring, but contractor Steve Pitney never signed the pact and the project was delayed.
Beaulieu’s complaint says the town should have sought bids a second time after the project was revived, because the Highway Department is now slated to do a greater share of the project and the turbine will now connect to the Highway Department garage instead of Town Hall.
“It’s well outside the reach of the original (request for proposals),” Beaulieu said Monday. “I just want fairness,” she added.
The Board of Selectmen approved, after months of delay, a contract May 19 to build a 120-foot turbine. After the original deal feel through, the town didn’t begin negotiating with Pitney on a new contract until April.
The quasi-public agency Massachusetts Technology Collaborative needs to approve a $45,000 rebate for the $63,400 project before it will be built.
Beaulieu said she’s never opposed a wind turbine and that the tower should have been connected to the Highway Department garage because it’s closer to where the turbine is to be built. When voters approved building the turbine at the 2007 Town Meeting, it was to connect to Town Hall, but the town attorney has said the “Town Hall” contract language could include other buildings at the site.
By Grant Welker
2 June 2008