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Shelburne needs people for wind advisory board

SHELBURNE – The Planning Board is seeking 10 to 15 residents to serve on a wind power advisory board that will help it research issues regarding the installation of windmills in town.

Last year, a proposal to build an eight-turbine, 20-megawatt wind farm on Mount Massaemet raised concerns – partly because the town had no wind-turbine siting bylaw in place and could have been sited through the more general Zoning Board of Appeal’s special permit process. The wind-farm proposal was scaled back to four wind turbines, and then withdrawn after annual town meeting voted in favor of a wind turbine moratorium and a ban on commercial-scale facilities.

The town now has a moratorium on wind turbine permits of any kind, but that moratorium expires on June 30. When it expires, on-premise wind turbines for homes, farms and businesses will be allowed through a special permit process.

“While looking at issues relating to both industrial wind and on-premise small-scale facilities, the primary objective of the Planning Board for this year is to develop a small-scale wind-power bylaw for presentation at annual town meeting in May,” Chairman Matt Marchese said, in a news release.

The board is seeking townspeople who are interested in on-premises wind power, who have the time to participate in group meetings and the ability to do independent research.

The Planning Board wants advisory members who are “open-minded in deliberations relative to the best interests” of the town, or who want to share their research or experience on this issue.

If interested and a Shelburne resident, send a letter or email by Oct. 12 with your name, address and contact information, along with your reason for wanting to participate and, if applicable, your expertise or experience with wind power.

The letters should be addressed to: Shelburne Planning Board, Memorial Hall, 51 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA 01370.

The email address is: www.Planning@townofshelburne.com