- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Proposed wind ordinance defeated

RUMFORD – The future for wind power here remained unclear when voters again defeated the proposed wind ordinance on July 14 by a tally of 696-582.

This follows the first proposed ordinance that was defeated at the Nov. 2 polls by a tally of 1,339 to 1,048.

With the current moratorium on wind projects not due to expire until July 25, the new select board will have some time before debating where to go from here on this issue. Meanwhile, town officials will wait to hear from Boston-based wind developer First Wind if this latest defeat kills their interest in pursuing a $65 million wind farm here.

Meanwhile, voters approved four other ordinances, covering an RSU 10 contract with the Parks Department (917-340), cable franchise fees (859-394), sign dimension changes (842-418) and municipal employees (678-566).

The first ordinance relates to revenue from RSU 10. Parks and Recreation requested language stating that incidental income resulting from their operations for RSU 10 be allocated to their budget – in addition to the town appropriation – so that the funds may be drawn upon for the Parks and Recreation Department’s expenses.

Another part of the request allows any remaining funds to be placed into Parks and Recreation’s capital account.

The second ordinance allocates two-thirds of the total cable franchise fees received by the town from the cable franchise agreement to cable access programming use.

Allocation of the other third is by vote by the Board of Selectmen rather than letting them have discretion over the full amount, Puiia said.

The ordinance is written as such should local access provider, the River Valley Access Channel, cease existence. The ordinance doesn’t dictate how selectmen are to use the remaining third. They could use it for community events, like the upcoming Fourth of July celebration to buy fireworks.

The third ordinance is a redrafting of the Sign Ordinance. There have been problems with the size of signs and banners that the current ordinance doesn’t address. Now, all political and yard-sale signs shall not exceed 500 square inches and banners shall not exceed 30 square feet. There shall be no alcohol-related messages or logos allowed as part of any signs or banners.

The fourth ordinance states that all town of Rumford employees will be subject to the terms and conditions stipulated in the municipal personnel policy unless otherwise provided in the collective bargaining agreement. The issue came up when the personnel policy was redrafted and officials realized it wasn’t already in an ordinance.

Also approved (695-538) was a proposed charter amendment to provide an opportunity, without involving the “critical circumstances” limitation of Article V, Section 6, to amend the Town Charter on a semi-annual basis in June and November of each year.