BARTON – Josh Bagnato of First Wind met with the Barton Selectmen and some neighbors Tuesday to discuss the company’s plans.
The basic plan is to move a wind turbine a day, in nine large pieces, for eight weeks, starting June 1. The turbines are headed to a site in Sheffield but must go through Barton to get there.
“Moving these size loads, it doesn’t always go perfect,” Mr. Bagnato added.
Delays could be created if the site is not ready for the next turbine, he said, or delays could be caused at the place where the deliveries are starting or along the route.
Mr. Bagnato said work started on the Sheffield site in mid-September and stopped in late December. The crews are back at work clearing snow and preparing the footings. Some of the footings are ready but not all of them. He said some roads still need to be built.
“We don’t want to have them sitting there,” he said, so the plan is to have them moved in once footings are ready.
Mr. Bagnato said the town will get notice 48 hours before the first delivery.
He said the village has asked for notice of each day’s deliveries in that time period, and he could notify the town as well if they would like that information. The selectmen said that would be helpful. Mr. Bagnato said he will contact the town clerk who can inform the selectmen and road crew.
The contract specifies avoiding large loads on holidays, including July 4.
The large loads will each be accompanied by a police cruiser and a civilian car. A small fire truck will travel in front of each load so that if there is a fire beyond the wide load, the firefighters can get to it.
First Wind is paying a volunteer firefighter for his or her time and paying for gas.
Dave Emmons asked if an ambulance would be there as well. He said there are older people and a daycare on Duck Pond Road.
Mr. Bagnato said the loads are not so wide that an ambulance could not get by – maybe not everywhere along the road but there are spots where the trucks could pull over and let an ambulance go by.
JoAnn Stefanski asked what would happen if the opponents win a Supreme Court appeal. Does the contract with the town cover taking the wind turbines down if that is ordered?
Selectman Bob Croteau said that happens, the company would have to come back to the selectmen and get a new permit.
Mr. Bagnato said there is a decommissioning fund to assure the project would not be abandoned, half-built.
Rob Pforzheimer asked if the turbines are rejects from a project in New York.
Mr. Bagnato said they are brand new – but when set up some needed repairs. “They are not rejects,” he said.
He said if the turbines need repairs that work can often be done on site with a crane.
“A lot of repairs are done when they are fully erected,” he said.
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