Several years ago, Freedom faced a “disamenity” intrusion, not unlike Searsport does today. We were asked to permit installation of three industrial wind turbines atop Beaver Hill. We learned:
The applicant can and will sell the facility, so assurances based on word or record are built on sand.
The applicant’s promises are only as good as ordinance enforcement. Performance standards must be monitored constantly but not by the applicant. Freedom avoided this expense by repealing the commercial site review ordinance and its proffered protections.
Computer models are incapable of representing actual circumstances.
Freedom residents experience noise levels and incidence of flicker beyond all computer study projections.
The tax-revenue boost lasts only until county and school commitments catch up.
Beaver Ridge Wind divided Freedom and generated one permanent part-time job. The applicant and subsequent owners have had to purchase properties close to the site. Our neighbors have moved. Our home lost value, and, like our neighbors, we probably have only one possible buyer, the turbine company, so we will remain too close for comfort.
State officials, representatives of the wind industry and townspeople say that Beaver Ridge Wind is a mistake, should never have gone forward and that too many homes are too close to the turbines. This hindsight is useless to me and my neighbors. I hope it informs the Searsport Planning Board. I urge the planning board to err on the side of its responsibility to guard the health, safety and welfare of the people of Searsport and the surrounding region.
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