NEW VINEYARD – Residents overwhelmingly approved an ordinance to regulate wind-energy projects in New Vineyard during the annual Town Meeting on Saturday morning.
Not one of the approximately 70 people in Smith Memorial Hall opposed adopting the ordinance, which passed with a voice vote.
The ordinance is similar to those adopted in other towns across Maine. Wind-energy projects have to meet local rules and gain town Planning Board approval to move forward. They only have to meet state regulations in towns without an ordinance.
After energy companies showed an interest in developing a wind-energy project on New Vineyard’s mountain range, voters at last year’s annual Town Meeting adopted a moratorium on wind-energy projects so the town ordinance could be prepared for a vote.
New Vineyard’s ordinance regulates turbine noise, distance between turbines and homes, the impact on the landscape and many other issues.
The about 70 residents, out of 582 registered voters, passed a town budget for 2011-2012 of $390,000, according to Selectman Fay Adams. It is a 16.8 percent increase from the 2010-2011 budget of $333,713.
Adams said the winter roads increased from last year by $9,000, and the Fire Department received $5,000 to make a change to digital communications. Other town costs for insurance, ambulance service and summer road work went up $3,000, she said.
Voters also approved spending $15,000 to put gravel in and make other improvements to the Town Office and library parking lot.
Another $20,000 will be spent for road maintenance on Barker Road. Many town residents and officials said the road is in dire need of repairs.
Voters also approved taking $50,000 from the town’s surplus account to reduce taxes in 2011.
Voters re-elected Adams to another three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. They also re-elected Earl Luce Jr. to serve as road commissioner for another six-month term.
Patty Knapp, Richard Hargreaves and Jon Cavanaugh were all re-elected to the town Planning Board for two-year terms. Brent Laflin was elected as an alternate for the board.
All nominations and votes were conducted from the floor and were unopposed.
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