The Falmouth Board of Selectmen is encouraging residents to vote yes on Questions 1 and 2 on the May 21 ballot.
Question 1 will ask voters to authorize the town to borrow money to fund a Comprehensive Wastewater Treatment Plan and the design of a water filtration system, which would help with both drinking water and coastal water quality. Question 2 will ask voters to authorize the town to borrow money to fund removal of Wind 1 and Wind 2 at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility, including all related costs and repayment of debts. If voters approve Question 2, it would still need to return to Town Meeting for an affirmative vote before selectmen could move forward with removing the turbines, as Town Meeting voters last month failed to pass a related warrant article with the needed 2/3 majority.
Falmouth Selectmen Chairman Kevin Murphy read a proposed press release during the May 13 meeting, which then was edited publicly by the full board before they voted to issue it.
Murphy also wanted voters to know that the selectmen will not be given a blank check to implement either measure. “Just because the ballot, by state law, does not say what the amounts are does not mean this board is given a blank check. You always have to refer back to Town Meeting for that,” Murphy said. “The Board of Selectmen has not acted lightly on both of these issues. This board is very frugal and realizes our fiduciary responsibility to our community. We ask you to look at the facts and not believe hearsay on any one of these issues. The devil is in the details on both of these issues.”
He also had some harsh words to say to those claiming it will cost the town $25 million to remove the wind turbines. “There are some signs that are out in the public eye that are speaking to Vote no on question 2. They’re saying that it will cost $25 million I think this is very misleading and I think folks out there need to get the message that it is misleading, that the number is not $25 million. It borders on the line of being untruthful,” Murphy said at the selectmen meeting.
“That would be that if the turbines could potentially run at full speed 24 hours a day. And currently, they are in violation in this town of the state standards on noise, especially in the middle of the night. So it’s important that the voters out there know that’s the reason we came to our conclusion,” he added.
The selectmen still say it would cost the town about $15 million, not $25 million, to remove Wind 1 and Wind 2 – including all estimated costs and repayment of debts.
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