CHAUMONT – The Lyme Town Council is looking for a few good men – and women – to serve on two committees that will investigate wind issues.
The council agreed at its meeting Wednesday night to establish the committees. One will collect information on the economics related to wind power development and the other will gather information on health, safety and environmental issues.
“My idea is that we put an even number of people on those committees,” Supervisor Scott G. Aubertine said. “We put an equal number of pro and anti and have them work together. One side will offer information and the other side can offer counter-side information.”
The committee’s information then would be available on the town website and possibly in the town office. Lyme residents could consult it before answering an upcoming wind survey, which will direct the council on how strictly to write a new wind zoning law.
“I don’t think it’s the committee’s place to come up with opinions, but to come up with information and send it to the people. Let the people make up their own decisions,” Councilman Donald R. Bourquin said.
The council agreed to advertise for the positions and accept applications through Oct. 12, the day before its next regular meeting.
The council also agreed to allow Mr. Bourquin to solicit proposals from acoustic engineering firms on writing a sound section to the law. He had asked the firm Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Sudbury, Mass., about Lyme’s law.
“I was told the sound portion of our law is unworkable,” he said. “I don’t know how much it would be. But they’d want to know what we’re thinking before we get too far along.”
Councilwoman Ann M. “Boo” Harris asked whether the committees could collect information on noise first.
“I don’t feel comfortable writing anything with sound,” she said.
Councilman Warren A. Johnson voted against the idea.
“We had a good law and it took us three and a half years coming to that point,” he said. “They’re in the business to make money.”
Mr. Aubertine also asked whether zoning for personal turbines should be taken out of the commercial wind law and expedited.
“That’s fine, except we’ve still got the noise levels in there,” Mr. Bourquin said.
And the once-proposed law allowed personal turbine height to vary from a maximum of 100 feet based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
“We need to start with a number,” Mr. Johnson said. “They can get a variance if they need it.”
In the end, he and Mrs. Harris agreed one of the wind committees should look at it.
“I think that’s going to cause problems once we get down that road,” Mr. Aubertine said.
To give the committee and council time to work on information collection and a survey for town taxpayers, the council set a time for a public hearing to extend a moratorium once again on wind power development. The hearing will be at 6:15 p.m. Oct. 13 at the town offices, before the regular meeting.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding