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Noise complaints and hurricane preparedness for Selectboard

Karen Isherwood of Teal Circle read a letter to the Fairhaven Selectboard on 6/18 to ask for some relief for her distress due to wind turbine noise, and offered suggestions on ways to mitigate her suffering.

“It’s the last time I want to speak in public,” said Ms. Isherwood, who recently stood before the Board of Health to describe how she says the wind turbine noise has disrupted her sleep and has caused strain on her already compromised immune system.

She asked for compensation for an increase in her electricity bill, due to constant running of air conditioners and fans she uses to help drown out the noise from the two turbines situated about 900 feet from her residence.

She also asked the board to consider an emergency amendment to the wind turbine contract that would restrict turbine operation to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In addition, she requested an immediate abatement to her property taxes and reimbursement for costs accrued when she sought temporary housing during times she found the noise unbearable.

She recalled a time when she visited Town Administrator Jeffrey Osuch to describe her “dire situation,” to which she said he responded with “complete indifference and callousness.”

She told the board Mr. Osuch’s response was, “Do you realize we have already signed a contract?”

The board looked on and listened, while Mr. Osuch smiled and shook his head “no,” side to side.

“Thank you for your letter,” Chairper son Brian Bowcock told Ms. Isherwood. “I know this wasn’t easy for you.”

Dr. Bowcock told her the town was working with the state Department of Environmental Protection, as preparations for a DEP sound study have begun and will take place over the course of the next several weeks.

“I have had the DEP at my house already,” Ms. Isherwood told the board. “He agreed that the sound is louder in my house than outside. He will be back.”

Selectboard member Charles Murphy told Ms. Isherwood that the developer, Sumul Shah of Fairhaven Wind LLC, shook hands with Mr. Murphy while vowing to respond to each WT noise complaint filed to be sure that all Fairhaven residents “are going to be OK.”

“I am going to hold him to that,” Mr. Murphy told Ms. Isherwood.

“I’ve listened to every word and I appreciate your effort to come out tonight,” said board member Bob Espindola. “Thank you.”

Ms. Isherwood asked the board what would happen to her family if results from the DEP found the developer to be in compliance with noise decibel levels, still forcing her to abandon her home.

“I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves,” said Mr. Bowcock. He said installing monitoring instruments would probably be the next step in the process, and he would welcome Ms. Isherwood to reappear before the board in the future.

“Thank you for listening,” Ms. Isherwood said.