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Work under way on third Rumford wind ordinance 

Credit:  By Terry Karkos, Staff Writer, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 15 August 2011 ~~

RUMFORD – Selectmen began work Thursday night to create a new wind power ordinance.

It’s the third attempt by town officials.

The first proposal, which many believed to be too restrictive, was defeated in November.

The second one, thought to be too liberal, was defeated in June.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Friday that the board voted to use the ordinance defeated in June as a template. Selectman Jeff Sterling, who drafted the June document, was absent.

Additionally, the board agreed to use the ordinance defeated in November as a reference point. So, to make it easier, Puiia said he created one document with all the strike outs from November’s document inserted.

“It was a very positive meeting,” he said.

“I thought all four board members felt good about the process going forward.”

Selectmen agreed to:

* Amend from 45 to 90 the number of days for the Planning Board to notify an applicant that the application is complete.

* Amend from 60 to 90 the number of days that the Planning Board shall approve an application after a public hearing.

* Use “required setback” as language under Distance Requirements.

* Table work on the setback distance for wind turbines from property. The November ordinance sought 5,280 feet; the June ordinance, 3,000 feet.

* Table work on sound modeling, sound standards and sound-related procedures and setback requirements.

* Reinserted language from the November ordinance that requires developers to have a risk assessment plan and to provide a surety to ensure coverage for any damage done to roads or structures.

* Table a decision on the maximum allowed height of wind turbines. The June ordinance sought 450 feet and the November ordinance wanted 400 feet. Boston-based wind developer First Wind, which has proposed a wind farm on Rumford hills, requested 475 feet.

“We covered quite a bit of territory,” Puiia said. “We really had good progress.”

He said the board allowed public input throughout the process, “which pleased the individuals in attendance, I believe.”

The workshop attracted 10 people.

The tabled items will be revisited at a future workshop, but not the one at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Rumford Falls Auditorium.

Discussion items at that meeting pertain to the Site Permit Requirements and Standards section and the Operational License, a section from the original ordinance that was deleted for the June ordinance.

Topics include construction sounds from a facility, signal interference, shadow flicker, a security plan and requirements, decommissioning, a mitigation waiver agreement, inspections, and a project phasing plan.

“We know there’s a lot to get done where we’re going to try to get it on the ballot in November,” Puiia said.

In other business, selectmen tabled a decision on appointing a town attorney, which is done annually.

Puiia said the board tasked him with asking Rumford’s other resident attorneys if they’d be interested in the position.

Source:  By Terry Karkos, Staff Writer, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 15 August 2011

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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