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INDUSTRY – Voters overwhelmingly approved a six-month moratorium on wind energy projects at the annual Town Meeting on Saturday.
The moratorium gives the community time to develop a town ordinance to regulate wind energy projects. All but one of the roughly 45 residents at the meeting supported the article in voting from the floor, according to Angel Davis, town clerk.
In other meeting action, voters adopted a $384,521 budget for the coming year, which is about $200 less than last year.
The budget approved Saturday passed all but one of the municipal spending articles proposed by selectmen. Voters removed an $817 donation to the American Red Cross, Davis said.
The wind energy moratorium temporarily bans developers from building wind turbines in the community. The town planning board is forming a committee, which will consist of town officials and community members, to draft a town ordinance on wind energy projects, Davis said.
An ordinance typically adds local rules for turbine noise, setbacks and other wind-energy issues. Projects would have to meet state guidelines but they also would be forced to meet local ordinance standards, which many Maine communities have enacted in recent years.
The ordinance is expected to be presented for voter approval at a special town meeting before the six-month ban expires. Residents can call the town office at 778-5050 to serve on the committee shaping the ordinance.
In elections held before the meeting, two incumbent town officials ran unopposed. About 30 ballots were cast in the community of 717 registered voters, Davis said.
Selectman Robert Geisser will serve a three-year term on the town board. Mark Prentiss will serve a three-year term representing the town on the school board for Mt. Blue Regional School District 9.
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