Recently, the Rumford Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 to put the Rumford wind ordinance on the June ballot. Many questions remain unanswered by the board concerning its actions pertaining to that ordinance.
One of these questions is in regard to the decommissioning funds. Should the towers cease to function or the company that owns them ceases to exist, decommissioning funds are money set aside to remove the towers that are taller than the tallest stack at the Rumford paper mill.
This type of funding is commonplace throughout the wind industry. The majority of the Rumford board believes it is fair to wait 10 years before this funding is in place. Dixfield’s wind power ordinance requires funding to be in place no later than three years into the project. The proposed Bethel regional ordinance requires funding be in place before a permit will even be issued.
First Wind LLC, the developer that has shown interest in Rumford, has offered other communities (where First Wind proposed wind farms) $50,000 per year, starting in year one, to be set aside. Why are Selectmen Bradford Adley, Mark Belanger and Jeffrey Sterling expecting less for Rumford taxpayers than other surrounding officials are expecting for their communities?
Time and time again, members of the board have used the word “fair.” They need to be fair and protect Rumford citizens, not just the developer.
I will vote “no” on the Rumford wind ordinance.
Peter Buotte Jr., Rumford
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