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Derby Line trustees seek info on wind project

The Derby Line Board of Trustees is waiting to decide whether to participate in the upcoming hearings on the Derby Line wind project.

In the meantime, the trustees Tuesday said they wanted Village Clerk Karen Jenne to attend a meeting before state utility regulators next week and bring back information for the board.

Jenne, who is also a Derby selectman, offered to attend the 1 p.m. pre-hearing conference Monday on behalf of both the town of Derby and the village of Derby Line.

She has raised questions about the proposal to erect two industrial turbines on the hillside farm fields above Derby Line and has spoken out against the project.

Other members of the Derby Board of Selectmen Monday spoke against having Jenne represent the town board at any hearings before the Vermont Public Service Board. Board members opted to send Derby Zoning Administrator Bob Kelley to the Monday pre-hearing in Montpelier.

Jenne made the offer Tuesday evening to the Derby Line trustees, who took her up on the idea.

Trustee Keith Beadle said the pre-hearing conference is only to bring interested groups together to discuss a potential schedule for a public hearing that would be held in the Derby area and technical hearings.

The trustees wouldn’t have to decide whether they want to be a party in the proceedings until sometime afterward, Beadle said.

In the Citizens’ Guide to Section 248, under which utility projects are considered, the pre-hearing conference is described as the time when the Public Service Board’s hearing officer meets with potential parties to discuss how to manage the hearing process and the pace of hearings and deadlines.

Beadle said Jenne could collect information at the pre-hearing on behalf of the trustees and the International Water Company, a non-profit corporation that provides water to Derby Line and neighboring Stanstead, Quebec.

Jenne is concerned about the impact of the blasting for the foundations of the two wind turbines on nearby water resources for the communities.

Beadle serves on the International Water board with town councilors from Stanstead. He has spoken in favor of the wind turbines.

The town of Holland is also expected to send a representative to the pre-hearing.

Encore Redevelopment wants to erect two 427-foot wind turbines on two farms in Derby that will be visible from parts of Derby Line village, Derby, Holland and Stanstead. Encore is seeking two certificates of public good for the turbines from the PSB.