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Derby Line to take poll on wind project

DERBY LINE – Village voters will have a chance to weigh in Tuesday on the idea of having two industrial-sized wind turbines spinning nearby.

The village annual meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the village hall features a straw poll asking the voters’ opinion of the Derby Line Wind Project.

The question is non-binding. The straw poll will give trustees the information they need when talking about the wind project, Trustee Keith Beadle said.

“We want to be able to say with confidence ‘This is what the village thinks,'” Beadle said Friday.

Until now, the trustees have discussed the project at meetings and heard from individual residents but could only speak on behalf of themselves, not the village, Beadle said.

The village board of trustees have been granted party status in the regulatory hearings about the wind project on the impact on the village water system shared with Stanstead, Quebec and on the visual impact on homes in the eastern side of the border village.

The trustees addressed the wind project in their annual report, saying that they would especially pay attention to where the project might affect the International Water Company’s infrastructure.

“The trustees have been participants in several hearings and will try to represent the interests of local residents,” said Beadle and fellow trustees Roland “Buzzy” Roy and Perry Hunt in their report.

The source protection area for the village is in the area where the turbines are proposed.

The wind project is in the town of Derby outside Derby Line village limits, on the east side of Interstate 91. Parts of eastern Derby Line would be within the viewshed of the wind turbines.

Encore Redevelopment wants to erect the two turbines, 427 feet tall from base to blade tip, on Grandview and Smugglers Hill Farms. Both locations are on open farm fields.

Encore has offered $15,000 annually to both Derby Line and the town of Holland as good neighbor payments.

In other business at the annual meeting Tuesday, trustees are asking village voters to approve a line of credit for sidewalk replacement on Caswell Avenue. The state has agreed to pay $300,000 for the sidewalk, with Derby Line paying up to $60,000, including in-kind work.

The trustees are also asking voters to spend $4,000 to extend the sidewalk on Beech Street.

One of the most important long-term issues facing this village, other than the wind turbines, are the aging water mains and infrastructure.

The trustees said in their report that the problems with the mains are increasing over time and the village needs to look at what it would cost to upgrade the system.

“It’s getting to be a serious problem,” Beadle said.

Each time a line breaks down, it costs more and water quality is affected, he said.

A complete study could cost as much as $100,000, Beadle said. The trustees said they would like permission to hunt for grants to cover the study.

The village budgets are up slightly. Beadle said the trustees worked to reduce the size of the budgets. “We tried to keep any increases as small as possible.”