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Wind developer touts incentives ahead of Frankfort wind ordinance vote

Property taxes, rebates on electric bills, charitable donations. Wind Developers are trying to sweeten the pot for Frankfort voters this upcoming election day, but some residents still have bitter feelings about the Proposed Waldo Mountain Wind Project.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire Based Eolian Renewable Energy wants Frankfort Residents to replace the wind ordinance they have on the books for the state model ordinance, which is less restrictive.

The Company wants to put six wind turbines atop Waldo Mountain. They need town residents to vote to swap out the ordinances when they vote this election day. The land in question sits atop Waldo Mountain where developers point out, there’s already cell towers, and roads. That’s where Eolian Renewable Energy wants to place 6 wind turbines. CEO Jack Kenworthy told us by phone, they can’t do that with the towns restrictive ordinances..

“The existing regulations in Frankfort are really prohibitive with respect to being able to site a wind facility in town,” he said.

The town ordinance narrowly passed in 2011 by 22 votes of 466 cast. This time Eolian is trying to sweeten the deal.In addition to touting the $300 thousand yearly property tax payments , they’re also promising $50 thousand in rebates each year for residents to divide up. All they have to do is show an electric bill. They’re also pledging money for scholarships, the town discretionary fund and volunteer fire department, and local charities.

“And I think that proposal is really robust and provides clear and meaningful benefit to everyone in town,” Kenworthy said.

Not Everyone is so convinced.

“They’re an LLC they can just declare bankruptcy and walk away. its not enforceable,” Said Leon Seymour.

Seymour is an abutting property owner with 13 acres running up to the mountain. He says he hopes residents wont be fooled by these promises, and wants people to remember that the leaseholders of the land the project would have went upon, sued the town after the last vote.

“How anybody in this town can vote to support these people who are involved with people who sued the town is beyond my comprehension,” Seymour exclaimed.

Seymour isn’t alone either, Milton Florest sees Waldo Mountain from his driveway. But there are plenty of other mountain tops around his property with views, he says he doesn’t want spoiled.

“Once you set a precedent by allowing one wind company in here, they’re going to be on every single mountaintop and every square inch of property that they can possibly site one.” Florest said.

The Town of Frankfort will take up the wind ordinance question on Election Day Tuesday November 4th along with all the other state, local, and congressional races.