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Bourne finance panel will recommend turbine bylaw amendment

The Bourne Finance Committee voted 8-2-1 Monday night to favorably recommend to voters the citizen-petition zoning article request that would revise the way turbine projects are reviewed.

The article may be heard at a May 9 Special Town Meeting if the planning board makes a report on it during a May 6 hearing. If planners again table any action, the amendment request does not proceed.

Board members Bill Grant and Harold DeWaltoff Jr. said they favor a complete moratorium on industrial grade turbines in Bourne so that the Cape Cod Commission can decide how such structures should be reviewed.

Member Mary Jane Mastrangelo also favors a moratorium; adding “this is the next best thing and would take effect when approved.”

Members and James Potter of Buzzards Bay, spokesman for the Concerned Citizens for Responsible Energy, were all careful not to mention the controversial New Generation Wind turbine project proposed off Scenic Highway and Route 25.

Potter, however, said the bylaw amendment was not written to ban industrial grade turbines; simply to limit their height and span. He said no moratorium is intended; just a “strengthened” bylaw.

“This amendment does not preclude industrial-grade turbines,” Potter said. “It is just to have them responsibly placed. We want to make the bylaw more reasonable.”

Potter said his group had considered a moratorium. “But we didn’t feel this would be necessary here,” he said. “We’re hoping town meeting voters will see this as a reasonable compromise. A moratorium is not our goal.”

In other action, the finance committee decided not to favorably recommend a request to begin the process through which selectmen would not serve as sewer commissioners.

But they support the request; saying they will wait for a positive recommendation on town meeting floor and then amend the article so as to remove verbiage that would allow selectmen to appoint a separate sewer commission.

Finance chairman Michele Ford said she would check with Moderator Robert Parady to determine if this parliamentary maneuvering will be allowed. If not, the board may revisit it recommendation prior to town meeting’s start next Monday night.