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Peru forming wind ordinance panel

PERU – Members of the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board met Monday night to discuss the importance of forming a committee to write an ordinance on wind power development.

Former Selectman Bill Hine said other towns are struggling to set up such ordinances. H said he wants to get an ordinance started before companies come to present proposals.

Hine suggested Bethel’s ordinance could be a model for Peru.

Selectman Laurieann Milligan said residents should have a say in developing on ordinance.

Former Selectman Jim Pulsifer suggested that the Planning Board and a committee of resident come up with an ordinance for the June town meeting.

Planning Board Chairman and former Selectman Steve Fuller said he would like to visit a wind farm and talk to people in the area to get better educated.

Milligan said personal feelings should not be a part of the study, but people should educate themselves as much as possible and study the Bethel ordinance.

“We need a wind power ordinance written by open-minded people,” Milligan said.

Fuller said that any resident interested in serving on the committee should contact the town office to sign up before the first meeting Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.

Planning Board member Dan Trumper thanked Hine for his work on the ordinance, but didn’t support Hines’ proposed ordinance authorizing a conservation commission.

There was considerable discussion on the proposed commission and Fuller questioned why it was necessary.

Hine said the town has a large block of undeveloped land that was a wildlife habitat and questioned if the town wanted to preserve this resource.

Selectman Tim Holland said it was time to be proactive before the habitats are all gone.

The big objection by the Planning Board was the formal language in the proposed ordinance.

Milligan said it would be giving landowners the opportunity to know what they have and what they can do with the land. She said the ordinance would be to index, categorize and educate the people as to what is in town.

Fuller asked why the language couldn’t be that simple.

Milligan replied, “Because the ordinance has to have structure. We can’t just write a paragraph for an ordinance. It has to follow some professional structure.”

Hine was asked to revamp the language and he agreed to work with the thoughts of the Planning Board.