PERU – An ordinance regulating wind-energy developments was approved by the town on Tuesday by a vote of 585-30.
Jim Pulsifer, chairman of the Industrial Wind Power Committee that drafted the regulations, said they “wrote a very strong ordinance that would make it very hard to bring wind turbines here.”
He said the next step is up to developers.
EDP Renewables North America LLC, of Houston, Texas, announced it was considering building 25 to 35 turbines in Peru. The company received a permit in October 2011 to place a meteorological test tower off Black Mountain Road near the Sumner town line.
In other results from the polls Tuesday, an ordinance allowing residents to recall an elected municipal official if they have failed to carry out their duties was approved, 518-355. It does not apply to school board members.
The ordinance, which was drafted in August by resident Tammy Ferland, states that if residents believe a municipal official has failed to “appropriately carry out duties and responsibilities of the office,” they can begin the process of recalling the official. They may also do so if the official has engaged in disreputable conduct or has been convicted of a crime or felony.
Also passed Tuesday was an ordinance allowing the electronic sign on the side of the Peru Fire Station on Route 108 to display different messages in a format that would not distract drivers. The vote was 562-305.
Previously, the electronic sign was only allowed to display one message at a time so that drivers would not be distracted. According to the new ordinance, the sign will be allowed to change messages in a variety of ways that are considered safe for drivers, including dissolving or fading the message.
By a vote of 402-476, voters said no to changing the position of secretary to the Board of Selectmen from “elected” to “appointed.”
The ballot question was tied to an ordinance passed in June that bars town employees, such as the board secretary, from serving simultaneously as selectmen or Finance Committee members.
Currently the board secretary, Selectman Kathy Hussey is being allowed to finish her term, based on advice from the Maine Municipal Association.
Town Clerk Vera Parent said voters at the town meeting next June will elect a secretary to the Board of Selectmen.
By a vote of 678-213, voters approved taking $5,000 from surplus to cover additional costs of construction on the Town Office roof and entry door. Parent said voters at the town meeting this past June opted to raise $30,000 and take another $30,000 from surplus to pay for the construction. However, the bids came in at slightly more than $60,000.
A weary Parent, who worked from 6 a.m. Election Day to early Wednesday morning, said there was a large turnout of 857 voters on Tuesday. All ballots had to be hand-counted, she said.
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