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Brighton DRB grants turbine storage permit

BRIGHTON – Owners of a logging yard in Brighton have permission to store parts for wind turbines arriving by rail and destined for the Lowell wind project.

The Brighton Development Review Board unanimously granted a site plan review permit for the property near the railroad line on Route 105 East Brighton Road. The railroad will ship turbine parts to Brighton before they are trucked to the Lowell ridgeline this summer.

The permit given to St. Lawrence & Atlantic RR and trucking company R.C.P. Transit involves a change of use from a logging yard near the railroad yard to a industrial wind storage yard, according to town documents.

“The board is satisfied that the applicant has met the requirements of the town of Brighton zoning bylaws,” the decision states.

The board also said that the applicant needs a permit from the zoning administrator for a construction trailer on site.

No one appeared at the hearing May 30 to object to the change of use, the board noted in its minutes.

Under the site plan permit, the property owner would provide a night security guard for the yard while the turbine parts are stored there.

Officials with Green Mountain Power, which is preparing to erect 21 industrial-sized wind turbines in Lowell, told the development review board during a hearing and site visit that the shipments by rail would begin to come in to Brighton by July 16 and continue to roll in over the next 10 weeks.

“Jason Birkel from St. Lawrence & Atlantic RR stated that the components will come from Richmond, Quebec on four separate trains” during regular train service, according to the DRB minutes.

Richard Pelletier from R.C.P. Transit will move lumber to accommodate the equipment, the minutes state.

The shipments of turbine components would begin by truck through Orleans County to the Lowell site the same week, GMP officials Charles Pughe and Dave Coriell have told select boards in affected towns.

Neighboring property owners Billy and Lisa Moore are allowing the trucking company to use their land near the logging yard to make a wide turn from Back Street to Route 105.

“The applicant will change the property back to its original state once the project is finished. Any damages that may occur will be repaired,” according to board minutes.

The turbine parts would travel from Brighton, through Charleston and Derby Center on Route 105 to reach Interstate 91 southbound, then exit at Orleans and travel to Route 58 over the Lowell range to reach Route 100 and the access road to the wind site.

“Charlie Pughe from GMP informed us that it should be a smooth ride through town,” the minutes of the DRB state.

The trucks and the oversize loads are only allowed to operate Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., with a 20-minute delay between each truck and its escort vehicles.

The truck loads are not allowed to travel in bad weather. Flaggers will be set up in Brighton and elsewhere along the route.