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Wind supporters, opponents square off in Brighton

Supporters and opponents of a proposed commercial wind farm around Seneca Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom will square off at a public meeting Wednesday night in Brighton.

The proposed wind farm would be located on ridgelines in the towns of Newark, Brighton and Ferdinand, and could include up to 35 turbines. The proposal prompted a special town meeting in Newark last month at which residents voted 169-59 for a new town plan that seeks to protect ridgelines.

“What I’m opposed of is the way our town plan has been misconstrued to say that we actually encourage and support this and that’s not the case, and now 75 percent of the town is saying that we don’t want industrial wind. So in knowing that, why are we going through this litigation for a (meteorological) tower, if we’re never going to have a wind project,” said Mike Channon, the chair of the Newark select board.

The wind developer has said they will respect the vote of the communities only after an actual project has been proposed. They are currently seeking approval from the Public Service Board to erect four wind measurement towers.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, both sides will make presentations. The public will be allowed to ask questions, but will not be allowed to make statements for or against the project. The meeting takes place at the Brighton Town Hall at 6 p.m.