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Sumner wind committee hung up on legalese  

Credit:  By Mary Standard, Special to the Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 28 August 2011 ~~

SUMNER – A committee charged with creating a wind-power ordinance agreed Thursday night to have member Jeff Pfeifer rewrite the document to address their concerns.

Industrial Wind Ordinance Committee member Larry O’Rourke said too much time was being spent on the 12-page document, which is too long and filled with legal phrases that make it difficult to understand.

“I wrote it this long because this wind subject has already gotten ugly,” Pfeifer said. “We could be open to a lot of attacks. I tried to make it as comprehensible as possible.”

It would protect the committee and the town, he said. “If the document is strong it can be a deterrent.”

Committee member Lana Pratt brought a laugh when she said, “I’m an old lady and if I can understand it, the rest of you should be able to. I want the protection.”

Pfeifer suggested that each committee member email their questions and concerns to him, and he would rewrite the ordinance to address them.

Clear Sky Energy LLC of Barnstable, Mass., is proposing to build wind turbines on the Spruce Hills Ridge that includes Mount Tom in the southwestern part of town.

Committee member Kathleen Emery suggested that mailings to residents about the ordinance and upcoming vote include a tag that reads: “A YES vote to the ordinance says NO to unregulated industrial wind development.”

Selectman Mary Ann Haxton asked how much time it would take to prepare the ordinance for the vote. The committee agreed five weeks would be enough.

Michael Rogers of Maine Revenue Services will meet with the committee at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss tax implications for local taxpayers.

The wind power issue has proven to be controversial, with former Selectman Glenn Hinckley resigning and Selectman Mark Silber no longer attending committee meetings due to personal attacks, Silber said earlier this month.

“I have been accused of accepting money, of being in cahoots with wind power contractors, and I won’t be a part of any wind hearings or committees anymore,” he said at the Aug. 4 selectmen meeting when it was announced Hinckley had resigned due to the stress of the job.

Source:  By Mary Standard, Special to the Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 28 August 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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