DIXFIELD – A petition that calls for leaving the decision on whether the town should host wind farms up to a vote of residents is being circulated, Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said Tuesday afternoon.
He said he was shown a petition at the board’s June 14 meeting by Dan McKay and Fremont Tibbetts. It aims to prohibit industrial wind projects. He said when it is presented to the board, possibly at the meeting June 28, it will be evaluated for its legality and signatures checked for validity. Once that is determined, selectmen will decide what action to take.
McKay said in an e-mail that the petition would “effectively put the say on whether or not to host wind projects in (Dixfield residents) hands.”
He said nearly 300 Dixfield residents had signed the petition.
McKay could not be reached by telephone for further comment.
Skibitksy said the town’s subcommittee charged with developing an ordinance that would regulate wind farms may have the finished document ready for presentation by the end of July.
Selectmen Norine Clarke and Steve Donahue have been working on it for several months. Townspeople approved a six-month moratorium on wind farm development, then selectmen extended it for another six months. That period will be up in late fall.
Whether the proposed wind project ordinance is adopted will be up to a vote of residents.
Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., has proposed building up to 15 industrial wind turbines on the ridge that includes Col. Holman Mountain. The company is currently using meteorological towers to gather wind information.
The company has also proposed projects for neighboring Carthage, which defeated a proposal for a moratorium Monday night, and nearby Woodstock. Other proposed projects are in Rumford and Roxbury.
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