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Bourne selectmen oppose wind farm location

BOURNE – The Bourne Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 Tuesday night to oppose the location of the proposed New Generation Wind turbine complex off Scenic Highway and dispatch that sentiment this week in a letter to the Cape Cod Commission, which is reviewing the project.

Selectman Jamie Sloniecki led the push to vote against the wind-farm proposal advanced by Tudor Ingersoll and Samuel Lorusso, saying it was the wrong location near homes in the Pilgrim Pines and Nightingale Pond Estates subdivisions.

Selectman Stephen Mealy agreed, saying the “project is too big” and its impact goes to “quality of life” considerations.

Selectman Donald Pickard and Selectwoman Mary Meli abstained on the vote.

Pickard said any selectmen’s vote should evolve after the Cape Cod Commission, and perhaps the Bourne Planning Board and the Bourne Selectmen’s Energy Advisory Committee, had reviewed the turbine project.

The selectmen’s decision came after more than two hours of dueling science about the impacts of seven turbines soaring 500 feet into the sky.

Richard Elrick, the town’s energy coordinator, urged selectmen to visit turbines to listen to the noise “and see what they’re like” for themselves.

Sloniecki said he hopes the independently elected planning board would take his board’s turbine-project views into consideration.

“To be honest, I felt like I was duped,” he said. “I thought when we reviewed the wind turbine bylaw that we were going to have turbines in my backyard, your backyard, that would fund the lights in the shed; not these things 500 feet off the Scenic Highway.

“Everyone knows the developer is a personal friend of mine,” Sloniecki said. “There are a lot of buildable lots up there, and he may have a difficult time with sales and re-sales.”

There was no indication that any board member had actually examined the plans, though most members said the project they don’t like now might change dramatically if it passes muster with the Commission and proceeds to the Bourne planning board.