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Selectmen presented with wind ordinance proposal

DIXFIELD – Selectmen accepted a petition Monday night from resident Dan McKay requesting that a wind power ordinance be put on the annual town meeting warrant.

Selectman Norine Clarke said about 30 people signed the petition that several selectmen believe would essentially eliminate the possibility of such development because of its severe restrictions.

The board will make no decisions on whether to put the question to townspeople until each provision in the proposed ordinance is reviewed by the town’s lawyer and determined to be legal, Clarke said.

The petition is prompted by tentative plans by Patriot Renewables, LLC, of Quincy, Mass., to erect industrial wind turbines on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridgeline.

Also at their meeting, selectmen agreed to contract with RSU 10 to sweep the parking lots of Dirigo High School, Dirigo Middle School, Dirigo Elementary School and the district’s office on Nash Street.

Public works foreman David Phair said he believes the job can be done in about two days, and could cost about $2,000. That figure includes labor and benefits, and use of the town’s sweeper.

In other matters, Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky told the board that after a lawyer reviewed a bond approved by townspeople last year to replace the sewer pipe under the Webb River Bridge, some of that money can be used to extend the pipe to the Peru Bridge.

The new bridge is under construction. Work on the extension of the sewer line is expected to be done during the upcoming summer.

In other infrastructure issues, a sidewalk project planned to extend from the former elementary school to Dirigo Middle School is still in the works. Skibitsky said the survey of the sidewalk route is continuing, with the only potential problem being the amount of space available on Nash Street.

Also, Phil Pinkham, overseer of the bridge project for the Maine Department of Transportation, has informed selectmen that enough space may be available to site a small area adjacent to the bridge on the Androscoggin River side to support a scenic views area.

Clarke said the board will look into the possibility at the April 9 meeting.