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Brewster selectmen release turbine lease agreement for public review  

Credit:  By Doug Fraser, Cape Cod Times, www.capecodonline.com 22 July 2011 ~~

BREWSTER – The public will have the weekend to review key details for the proposed town wind turbines that have embroiled Brewster in controversy for months.

Selectmen released their proposed agreements to lease property to the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative to build two municipal wind turbines, and for the county cooperative to buy the power they generate.

Town Administrator Charles Sumner said they released the plans this week to give residents time to review them and prepare comments before Monday’s selectmen’s meeting. Selectmen are expected to vote on the proposal after the public comments.

If selectmen approve the agreements, CVEC will be free to approach the state Department of Public Utilities for an exemption to the town zoning laws for the two proposed 410-foot-tall turbines.

“We are ready to go forward but can’t file (with the DPU) until we have power purchase and lease agreements,” said Maggie Downey of CVEC. Leasing town-owned land on Freemans Way could net Brewster $100,000 a year plus additional money from the purchase of the power and electricity that will be sold at discount rates to the town.

While the proposed turbines passed many town meeting votes along the way, the planning board failed to issue a special permit this spring and the project failed by 25 votes to get the two-thirds majority at the May 2 town meeting needed to eliminate the special permit requirement from the municipal wind bylaw. Despite the setback. selectmen have vowed to press on with the project.

Those opposed to the proposed installation complained Thursday that an hour at a meeting was too short to hear comments, make changes and vote.

“We have been assured by (Selectman) Ed Lewis, (Selectman) Peter Norton and (ex-Selectman) Greg Levasseur that we would have input on the conditions. I don’t understand what impact a discussion in about an hour or so or any kind of deliberations prior to the vote is serious consideration of what the public has to say or their concerns. It’s quite distressing,” said Mitchell Relin of Brewster Citizens for Responsible Energy.

But Sumner said that a previous town meeting vote had authorized the board to draw up contracts and that they didn’t need to involve other parties or solicit additional comments. He pointed out that Relin’s group withdrew an article at the May town meeting that would have asked voters to revoke the selectmen’s authorization to draw up a contract.

Monday night’s meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the town hall. To look at the power purchase and lease agreements, go to http://www.town.brewster.ma.us/. Then click on Calendar. Click on Selectmen Meeting on July 25, then on the highlighted links at the end of the agenda.

Source:  By Doug Fraser, Cape Cod Times, www.capecodonline.com 22 July 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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