March 8, 2013

Wind projects, budget increase focus of Industry Town Meeting

By Kaitlin Schroeder, Staff Writer | Morning Sentinel | March 7, 2013 |

INDUSTRY – Voters on Saturday will consider a proposed wind ordinance that would create a buffer zone around any future wind projects, as well as a slight increase in the municipal budget at the annual Town Meeting.

The proposed budget is $390,728, which is 1.6 percent higher than the current one, Town Clerk Angel Davis said.

Citing possible noise or falling debris, town officials proposed the wind ordinance as a pre-emptive safety measure for future wind projects.

The ordinance would require a buffer zone proportional to the size of the turbine, with the largest potential projects needing a buffer zone nearly a mile in circumference.

Maine has 11 operational wind farms. The only one in Franklin County, where Industry is located, is in Kibby Township.

Last year, voters overwhelmingly approved a six-month moratorium on wind energy projects at the annual Town Meeting in order to develop an ordinance to regulate wind energy projects.

Code enforcement officer Tom Marcotte said Industry residents who oppose wind development projects have been worried since New Vineyard, which borders the town to the northwest, unanimously passed strict rules in 2011 making it nearly impossible to develop wind power projects in that town. Industry residents are concerned that developers will move their projects to Industry instead, he said.

There are no contested elections this year, Davis said.

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