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Wind ordinance coming to vote in New Vineyard  

Credit:  By David Robinson, Staff Writer, Morning Sentinel, www.onlinesentinel.com 8 March 2011 ~~

NEW VINEYARD – Over a year after a wind energy developer showed interest in the town, residents will decide on passing local rules to control wind projects in New Vineyard.

Voters at the annual Town Meeting will consider adopting a wind energy ordinance that would regulate everything from noise to how turbines affect views of the landscape, according to town officials.

This and other town issues will be heard at the meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 12 at 9:30 a.m. in Smith Memorial Hall on Route 27.

At least one energy company has shown an interest in developing a wind energy project on a New Vineyard mountain range, according to Richard Hargreaves, chairman of the town’s Planning Board.

At last year’s Town Meeting, voters adopted a moratorium on wind energy projects until a town ordinance could be prepared for a vote.

They voted past fall to extend the moratorium until hearing the wind energy ordinance at this year’s Town Meeting, Hargreaves said. He was unable to provide names of energy companies interested in New Vineyard, nor have any applications for wind projects have been filed with the state or town, he said.

The proposed ordinance is similar to those adopted in other towns across Maine. It regulates wind projects by setting local rules that must be met in addition to state regulations. Wind projects now only have to meet state regulations in towns without an ordinance.

New Vineyard’s ordinance would regulate turbine noise, distance between turbines and homes, and many other issues tied to a wind project’s affect on a community, according to Hargreaves.

The town planning board wrote the ordinance, and copies of the proposal are available for review at the town office, he said.

Voters will also consider at the Town Meeting whether to appropriate $20,000 for improvements to Barker Road, according to Fay Adams, a New Vineyard selectman.

It’s unclear whether the money would come from new taxation, town surplus or other sources, said Adams. The warrant article asks voters to appropriate the money for a reserve account for Barker Road, she said.

Voters will also elect one selectman, three planning board members, a road commissioner and two planning board alternates at the annual town meeting. Candidates are nominated and voted for during the meeting.

The selectman position, which is a three-year term, is currently held by Adams. She said she would serve again if nominated.

Adams said the proposed 2011-2012 budget amount was unavailable Monday. Selectmen canceled a meeting Monday to finalize the town report and budget amount because of the death in a town official’s family, she said.

Source:  By David Robinson, Staff Writer, Morning Sentinel, www.onlinesentinel.com 8 March 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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