LINCOLN – As opponents of a $120 million wind development slated for Rollins Mountain, the Friends of Lincoln Lakes citizens group will ask the Town Council and Planning Board next week for a moratorium on all pending wind projects, its organizers said Thursday.
Group members will attend council and board meetings next week after taking in the third hearing held by wind farm proponent First Wind of Massachusetts on Wednesday at Mattanawcook Academy. They fear local boards ha-ven’t had adequate time to learn enough about wind farms’ potentially hazardous impact upon municipalities and wildlife.
“I really don’t trust anything that I see here,” said Rick Kaul, who owns a camp on Long Pond near Rollins Moun-tain.
Group member Serena Kolb of Freeport, who owns a camp on Madagascal Pond in Burlington, questioned why the town would want to do business with First Wind, given that the company is being investigated by the New York State Attorney General’s Office and has several lawsuits pending against it.
“It’s an unregulated industry,” Kolb said. “There’s no ordinances or laws in the towns where they [wind farms] are being proposed because it’s such a new industry here. Why should we do business with them when we know so little about who they are and what they do?”
Council Chairman Steve Clay and Planning Board Chairman Peter Phinney said they welcomed input from the group, which was formerly known as Friends of Rollins Ridge, but wouldn’t make any decisions until the group’s presentations were made.
“We have very little authority at this point unless we’re talking about a moratorium,” Clay said. “First Wind has to apply for a building permit with the Planning Board, not us.”
The council would have to support a moratorium declaration, Clay said.
The board is “in the beginning stages” of creating an ordinance regarding wind farms, Phinney said, having talked about one generally for several months. Nothing is ready for a board vote yet.
The Lincoln group is the second in Maine to push for a wind-farm moratorium. A group of Fort Kent residents is proposing a moratorium on industrial wind turbines within town limits until local officials can develop ordinances governing the enormous structures.
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