RUMFORD – This Thursday, the Board of Selectmen will hold the first workshop to begin writing a third wind power ordinance.
Just prior to that workshop, a special selectmen’s meeting will take place at 6 p.m. to appoint a town attorney for a year.
Both meetings will take place in the Rumford Falls Auditorium.
At last Thursday’s meeting, selectmen voted unanimously to to use the proposed ordinance that was defeated at referendum in June as the template and add other documents as references, including the wind power ordinance defeated at referendum last November.
Public comment will be allowed at the beginning and end of the workshop, but not during the workshop itself. Also, the board would like comments put in writing, if possible, and left at the town office or at the beginning of the workshop.
Once the Board of Selectmen has a rough draft of an ordinance, expected within a few workshop sessions, the Planning Board will be included in future ordinance meetings.
The only exceptions to the ban on public comment during the workshop sessions will be if a special guest with additional information is invited to the session. This could include representatives from the State Planning Office, the Department of Environmental Protection or First Wind.
Four board members agreed that they believe they’re close to developing a wind power ordinance that voters will approve.
There was also a statement that the first proposed ordinance was too restrictive and the second one was not strict enough.
However, newly-elected board member Jolene Lovejoy was skeptical. “I’m amazed that you four all of a sudden know why it failed. You need to look beyond yourselves; include some members of the original committee.”
Selectman Brad Adley asked if they were shooting for a public vote for November.
Board Chairman Greg Buccina responded, “I don’t know. Maybe if we get there by then.”
The town currently has a 180-day moratorium on wind turbine construction until January 2012.
The Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments will likely review the proposed ordinance once it is completed. Then public hearings will be held prior to a vote by residents.
First Wind, of Boston, MA, has proposed building industrial wind turbines on Black Mountain and two adjacent mountains.
Selectmen also agreed to table Puiia’s recommendation of Tom Carey to continue as the town attorney. Adley asked if a municipal lawyer would be an option. The board agreed to look at the process before revisiting the one-year position this Thursday.
Puiia said town attorney costs for the last four years were: $27,129 for 2007-08; $42,386 for 2008-09; $41,538 (including represenatation for negotiations for three union contracts) for 2009-10; and $20,226 for 2010-11.
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