Wind turbines, the Community Preservation Act and a new athletic complex at Falmouth High School are topics Town Meeting members debated at the two sessions last fall and last spring. Thanks to articles brought forward by residents, those issues will return once again in April in a slate of five petitioners articles that are set to appear on the Annual Town Meeting warrant.
Wind turbines have been one of the more contentious topics Falmouth has faced since Wind 1 came online in March 2010. Since that time neighbors have attempted to get the town to cease operation of that turbine and Wind 2, which came online last spring, leading them to submit three successive petitioners articles to Town Meeting beginning in November 2011, all with the goal of shutting the machines down.
This time around, Kathryn L. Elder of Blacksmith Shop Road, West Falmouth, has submitted an article that asks Town Meeting to advise the selectmen to place a question on the May ballot asking taxpayers to fund the remaining debt for the financing of Wind 1 through a debt exclusion. If the ballot question is approved, the article then asks selectmen to permanently terminate the operation of both turbines at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. “This is an attempt to solve the money problem,” Ms. Elder said, explaining why she brought this article to Town Meeting. “The problem, as it has been presented to us over and over, for solving the problem, has always been about the money. There are ways to solve that problem and we are asking them [the selectmen] to make a decision to do what is right and then find the money.” While the article would ask taxpayers to foot the bill for the debt on Wind 1, Ms. Elder said, the state also should share responsibility for the issues caused by the wind turbines. “We don’t feel the full burden should be on the taxpayer, though it is likely the town will have to bear some responsibility to fix the problem,” she said.
Since last June, Ms. Elder has served as a member of the Wind Turbine Options Process group, which will be providing recommendations to selectmen on what to do with the turbines tonight. Ms. Elder said she does not believe her article subverts that process, explaining that whatever path the town chooses to take will require additional funds. For her the only path that will solve “the problem for the town, for the neighbors, for everyone is to sell the turbines and replace them with a renewable energy project that does not hurt anyone,” she said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding