DIXFIELD – Selectmen have set a special meeting with a representative of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group LLC for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at the town office to continue gathering information on the tax implications of a possible wind turbine project.
Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said the board wants to get additional details about tax increment financing from Mathew Eddy, a member of the Augusta group.
The board held an initial meeting with Eddy in April 2010.
“We are looking at a broader spectrum – who should we be speaking to, what have other towns done,” Skibitsky said.
Up to $10,000 is being spent by the potential developers of up to 13 wind turbines on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridgeline for the services of Eaton Peabody to assist the town with tax increment financing.
Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., has four wind turbine projects in various stages of development in Western Maine. The most advanced, a 10-turbine project in Woodstock, was faced with an appeal. The Board of Environmental Protection upheld the original Department of Environmental Protection approval last week.
Skibitsky said the board will review its stand on wind turbine development in town and try to learn what steps it must take if the project is built.
“We want to know all the tools that may be available,” Skibitsky said.
Tom Carroll, project coordinator for the proposed Dixfield project, said wind direction and strength data is continuing to be gathered from a meteorological tower on the ridgeline. Bird and other wildlife studies are scheduled to begin in the spring.
Skibitsky has said that the town could receive up to $400,000 a year from the projected $30 million project that could be used for such economic development projects as road construction, beautifying the downtown and other endeavors in the Main and Weld street areas.
Opponents of the wind project failed to get an ordinance passed during the November election that would have banned such development.
If the board should pursue a TIF, the final say on whether to enter into the agreement will be determined by the voters.
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