June 6, 2014

Peru Annual Town Meeting: Two big articles on warrant

By Phil Demers, Berkshire Eagle Staff | 06/06/2014 | www.berkshireeagle.com

PERU – Annual town meeting will decide on two impactful warrant articles – a ban on industrial wind turbines and the potential hire of a part-time town administrator – along with a proposed $1.95 million fiscal 2015 budget Saturday.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Peru Community Center.

Members of Peru Concerned Citizens propose changing the town’s wind energy bylaw to state, “wind energy conversion systems shall be primarily for on-site distribution use: Up to 50 percent of the energy generated may be sold or used off-site.”

The measure would effectively bar any large-scale wind developer from pursuing a project in the town, while allowing residents freedom to pursue small conversion systems at their homes.

PCC formerly opposed a now-dormant effort by developer Lightship Energy to gain permitting for five industrial wind turbines it wanted to build off Curtin Road.

The article, whose presence on the warrant promises to boost attendance, requires a two-thirds vote to pass.

Another article that could shape the town’s future seeks to authorize Selectmen to appoint a town administrator for “no more than 18 hours per week, with compensation for such position to be determined by the Board of Selectmen.”

The article also proposes that $20,000 be raised and appropriated for the position.

Voters will also consider raising a sum of $859,163 for the town’s share of the operating, capital and transportation costs of the seven member Central Berkshire Regional School District. Annual town meetings in the district’s six other towns, Dalton, Hinsdale, Windsor, Becket, Washington and Cummington, have already approved their school district assessments for fiscal 2015. At least five of the seven towns are required to approve their assessments in order for the regional school district’s budget to go into effect.

The proposed fiscal 2015 budget of $1.95 million is up nearly $100,000 compared with the current fiscal year.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2014/06/06/peru-annual-town-meeting-two-big-articles-on-warrant/