DIXFIELD – The Board of Selectmen voted Monday evening to approve the amended Wind Energy Facility Ordinance for the Nov. 4 referendum ballot, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Tuesday.
Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., approached Dixfield officials three years ago about constructing 13 wind turbines on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridge. The corporation has been conducting research on the ridge, including wind tests, bird studies and environmental impact studies.
The ordinance was approved in 2012, and was placed before the Planning Board at the beginning of 2013 so it could amend it to make it stronger. Nearly a year and a half later, the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen met to discuss the revised ordinance.
Puiia said that before voting to place the ordinance on the Nov. 4 warrant, selectmen made further revisions.
“The board decided to amend the ordinance to create a 4,000-foot setback from the nonparticipating parcel’s property line,” Puiia said. “Originally, there was a 2,000-foot setback.”
He said the board also voted to increase the amount of money that Patriot Renewables would deposit in an escrow account from $2,000 per tower to $4,000 per tower.
“With $2,000, the moment that the board spent any money from that account to deal with compliance issues, they would immediately have to replace it,” Puiia said. “With $4,000, they wouldn’t have to replace the money every time they spent it.”