KINGSTON – The lone applicant for the position of flicker consultant to the Board of Health is being recommended to the Board of Selectmen.
Monday night, the Board of Health interviewed Georg Becker-Birck from K2 Management, a company that has consulted for the wind industry, about serving as the town’s consultant on flicker by evaluating a recent flicker study and drafting new flicker regulations.
K2 submitted an estimate of $22,200 based on 101 hours of work. Becker-Birck said it would take about two months to draft a flicker regulation.
Town Administrator Robert Fennessy said last Tuesday he has spoken with Board of Health Chairman Joe Casna about the board’s vote and will determine a possible funding source. Selectmen would then be asked to approve the request.
It was also announced Monday that the acoustical study for the Independence wind turbine will now begin Wednesday, Oct. 16. It was last scheduled to start Oct. 7. The state Department of Environmental Protection will monitor the study.
K2 was the only applicant interviewed by board members. Another applicant, Richard Bolton of New York, wanted travel expenses to attend. His request was denied. Tech Environmental and Steve Ambrose withdrew their applications.
While he wants to get a consultant on board quickly, Copper Beach Drive resident David Kennedy urged the board not to make a rash decision and expand the search for a consultant.
“To do proper due diligence, I think that’s what needs to be done,” said.
Joanne Levesque, of Duxbury, questioned hiring a company that’s been a consultant for wind turbine developers, but Board of Health member Bill Watson said the board needs the expertise of a company like K2 because a precedent will be set with the drafting of flicker regulations.
“There’s no regulations on shadow flicker,” Watson said. “We’re starting from ground zero.”
Board of Health member Toni Cushman wanted to try to reach out again to Bolton to essentially get a second opinion, possibly at a lower cost. She said he once mentioned an estimate of $5,000. Cushman said the board could Skype or video conference with him, but only Casna voted to go along with her suggestion.
Watson said he worried about the board’s access to Bolton since he wanted to charge the town to travel to the interview. Board members agreed they want the consultant to be able to attend board meetings.
Becker-Birck would be one of two representatives of K2 to work directly with the Board of Health. During his interview he said the board could benefit from their practical experience with wind turbines projects.
He said they can work with the data collected as a result of the recent flicker study commissioned by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center but want to be able to review the raw data.