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Wind skeptics seek seats on task force

During the public input period at the start of the meeting, the board heard from Dorie Klein of the Friends of Ragged Mountain who presented an update that had been postponed from a previous agenda.

Klein told the board that 240 people were now members of the organization that she earlier said had been formed “out of necessity to preserve Ragged Mountain from industrial wind power development and construction on Ragged Mountain and the ridge.”

While no specific proposal has been made to build wind turbines on Ragged Mountain, Camden’s Energy Committee has been discussing the matter and Camden has invited Hope and Rockport to nominate members for the Ragged Mountain Wind Workgroup, a nine-person, three-town committee to explore the future of wind power on Ragged Mountain.

Klein said at the Oct. 5 meeting that, of her organization’s 240 members, 101 were Camden residents. She said 29 members lived in Rockport and 22 in Hope, with the remainder coming from outside the three-town area.

“Many of these people lived, grew up, or recreate here,” she said.

Klein said there were at least 300 homes within a mile and a half of the Ragged Mountain ridgeline and pointed to ordinances from five Maine municipalities that she asked Town Manager Roberta Smith to look to as models for possible wind development regulations in Camden. Klein said she also delivered those ordinances to Rockport Town Manager Robert Peabody and Hope Town Administrator Jon Duke.

She said the best of those ordinances was that of the town of Phillips, approximately 20 miles northwest of Farmington.

Klein asked the board to clarify the selection process for the three-town committee and was told that the names of those who filled out committee interest forms would be reviewed at the next Select Board meeting, on Oct. 26. While it is not required that a person be present to be appointed, Dodge said the board might have questions for applicants at that time.

To date, six Camden residents have turned in committee interest forms for the Ragged Mountain Wind Workgroup. They are Sue Fleming, Cindy Gagnon, Ken Gross, Klein, Dana Strout and Andrea Young.