Nantucket voters quickly dispatched with proposals to build a wind turbine in Madaket and expand the powers of the Historic District Commission during Monday’s Special Town Meeting.
Barbara Gookin’s citizen petition to appropriate $620,000 for a 100 kilowatt wind turbine at the Madaket landfill was overwhelmingly defeated, and the HDC petition, which had garnered significant opposition from the island’s real estate and building industries over the past week, was tabled with a motion from one of its supporters.
A large crowd (for a Special Town Meeting) of 632 people showed up at the Nantucket High School auditorium for the meeting, with attendance driven by the wind turbine article, which brought out west end residents, and the HDC petition that generated widespread opposition from two of the largest sectors of the island’s economy: building and real estate.
A sea of hands rose to defeat Article 5, Gookin’s citizen petition to fund a wind turbine similar in size and cost to the one already operating at Nantucket High School, just a few hundred yards away from the auditorium. It marked the second time this year that Nantucket voters have rejected a wind turbine project at the Madaket landfill. Back in March, island residents also shot down an even larger 900 kilowatt turbine proposal put forward by the town’s Energy Study Committee by a similarly large margin.
Voters also approved a series of enterprise fund budget amendments Monday night, the largest being a $1.06 million subsidy from the town’s general fund to Nantucket Memorial Airport to cover a shortfall at the island transportation hub. The subsidy is expected to be repaid by the airport at the end of the current fiscal year.
Only several other warrant articles were called for debate, and Monday’s Special Town Meeting wrapped up around 7:30 p.m. Tonight’s attendance was 632 people, a 7.5 percent turnout of Nantucket’s total of 8,389 registered voters.
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