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Wind developers invite skeptical Graftonites to info session

The Monday, June 1 Grafton Select Board meeting was well attended with many community members taking part in the continuing discussions on the Grafton-Windham wind project, a proposed speed limit change on Route 121 and the minimum bid on the town garage.

Melissa Belcher, of Meadowsend Timberlands Ltd., a partner in the proposed wind project, invited everyone to an information/social session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, that both her company and Iberdrola Renewables will hold at Grafton Ponds, 783 Townshend Road. A mailing also has been sent out to all town residents, she said, adding that quarterly newsletters are sent out to update the community on the “long scientific process” and can be found at www.stilesbrookforest.com.

But Belcher’s remarks were not received well by either the Select Board or members of the audience. Planning commission member Rex James said he is concerned that “the cooperate sponsored event” of June 16 would not answer the questions needing to be addressed. Liisa Kissel agreed, adding, “we deserve better.”

Planning commission member David Acker asked pointedly what the benefits resident Alan Sands and fellow commission member Steve Fisher thought the town would receive from the project. He then cautioned members of both the Select Board and Planning Commission from taking gifts from the land owner – Meadowsend – and developer Iberdrola.

Sands said the project could bring money into Grafton much the way the Maple Ridge project had in New York. Acker expressed concern about possible health implications and studies on low frequency waves from industrial turbines affecting those with autism. He added that the potential harm to the public needed to be discussed. Board member Ron Pilette made a motion that the town request a fact sheet from both companies. Town administrator Rachel Williams said she would contact Iberdrola directly with this request.