Marshfield – On Monday, selectmen discussed a new wind energy bill proposed by the state, which board Chairwoman Patricia Reilly and Selectman Matt McDonough said they would officially oppose in a letter to lawmakers.
Reilly, citing a memo sent from Mount Washington selectmen, said the new legislation would strip away towns’ local control over location, construction and operation of onshore wind turbines and other infrastructure, including the town bylaw passed at Town Meeting in April.
While Reilly referred to the bill as “40B for wind energy” – referring to the state’s affordable housing law, which allows developers to bypass local regulations if a project has more than 25 percent affordable housing and the town has less than 10 percent – McDonough said he was concerned that there was essentially no appeals process.
Before sending a letter of opposition to state officials, Reilly and McDonough will publicly discuss the matter with Selectman John Hall, who was absent.
Selectmen also approved $32,000 in various budget transfers and a change order for the Seth Ventress Building. Ruthann Despier, who has been spearheading the renovation project, said that while she didn’t yet have official figures, the project, which is in the final phase of construction, is well under budget.
“There could be over $400,000 returned to the town of Marshfield,” she said, noting that a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the 76 South River St. building July 30. Despier said the public is invited to the ceremony, which will be from 4 to 7 p.m.
Reilly said meeting schedules at the new facility would be announced in the near future.
In his briefing, Town Administrator Rocco Longo reminded those in attendance that the informational meeting regarding the town’s proposed $7 million energy contract with Trane Energy Company will be Wednesday, July 14. Selectmen, who were petitioned on the matter by a group of other residents, scheduled the meeting for 7 p.m. at the Furnace Brook Middle School auditorium.
“This is an informational meeting about the ESCO project,” said Reilly. “It’s not a meeting to dispute the proposal.”
For those who have questions, but can’t make it, Reilly encouraged residents to send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on the wind energy bill, see this week’s Marshfield Mariner.
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