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Wind measure to go before Smithfield voters

SMITHFIELD – A proposed ordinance to regulate windmills is among the 62 articles that residents will consider at the annual town meeting on Saturday.

Spending is estimated, according to town warrants to increase the town budget this year by about 5.3 percent, not including the county tax and school payments.

There is one contested race between incumbent Second Selectman Dale “Bud” Churchill and John Wiggins, although they are not on the ballot, according to Administrative Assistant Nichole Clark. Both have expressed interest as a write-in candidates for the second selectman seat, she said.

The town meeting is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Municipal Building on Village Road. Municipal elections are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, also at the Municipal Building.

The proposed small wind energy system ordinance would allow a wind turbine, a tower, footings, electrical fixtures and associated equipment generating not more than 100 kilowatts.

According to the ordinance, the height of each unit is limited to 140 feet, with setback requirements from abutting property lines. The ordinance also limits noise to 55 decibels with some short-term exceptions, which include power outages and unusual high winds,

The Smithfield Planning Board would be given the authority to review and conditionally approve or reject any applications under the ordinance.

Big ticket items on the Saturday town meeting warrant will include $70,000 for Waste Management Disposal Services in Norridgewock; $143,244 for winter roads, including three contracts, sand and salt purchases and snow removal; and $50,000, plus $26,424, from the Road Block Grant for the paving and road reconstruction reserve account.

Voters also will be asked to raise and appropriate $115,535 for the pay of town officials and employees. The costs would cover salaries and expenses for 21 town employees, including three selectmen, an administrative assistant, town clerk, various board members, the town’s assessing agent and the moderator for the town meeting.