ELIOT, Maine – The town’s voters made environmental history by approving solar and wind power referenda by large majorities establishing the town as the third Maine municipality to have an ordinance governing small wind energy systems – and the first such ordinance in southern Maine.
Eliot joins Wiscasset and Damariscotta, which adopted small wind power (less than 100 kilowatts) ordinances in June 2006 and in February of this year, respectively.
The wind ordinance was written to include standards such as height, setbacks and the wind turbines will need to meet Eliot noise ordinances that are quite strict according to Energy Commission Chairman Larry Dow, who researched and wrote the ordinance.
The solar ordinance clarifies that solar energy equipment is a permitted use in the town.
The solar measure passed 852-158. The wind power measure passed 831-183.
In the Eliot Board of Selectmen race, the two top vote getters, incumbent Gary Sinden (540 votes) and Arnold Paul (498) were elected for three-year terms.
Sinden said: “I’m very happy. Everyone knows how I feel on issues and I’m happy that they’re happy with me. I seem to be on the right track. I don’t anticipate running again, and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to run this time but there was some unfinished business,” he said.
Sinden said his two top priorities were solving the funding priorities for the schools and addressing the Bolt Hill Sewer issue.
“The gap between Eliot and South Berwick widens every year and now it’s to the point that it’s going to harm some taxpayers. Some people with fixed incomes are faced with a 14 percent tax increase,” he said.
Sinden said he advocates changing the local school funding formula to acknowledge that the two towns have roughly the same median family income.
Arnold Paul said: “I’m totally pleased. I appreciate all the help I received.”
“My priorities are to follow the figures to see if we can keep the taxes from going crazy; keep an eye on the businesses on (Route) 236; and see if we can get this sewer problem straightened out finally – it’s still a mess and no one seems to want to address it,” he said.
By David Ramsay
10 June 2008
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