Mattapoisett resident Frank Haggerty is trying to rally Bourne residents to attend the Tuesday night (July 21) selectmen’s meeting to take issue with what opponents call the “outlaw installation” of cranberry farmer Keith Mann’s proposed four-turbine wind farm in Head of the Bay across the Buzzards Bay line in South Plymouth.
Selectmen have considered for the past week a temporary-easement request to remove four guardrails along Head of the Bay Road that would help facilitate pending delivery of heavy equipment for the turbines over the Red Brook bridge, whose ownership is in question.
The equipment has been shipped across the Atlantic to New Bedford. Delivery to the Mann tract off Route 25 could be along the Cranberry Highway to Head of the Bay Road from the west; or across the Cohasset Narrows Bridge through Buzzards Bay Village to Head of the Bay Road from the east.
The easement request has proved ticklish with selectmen because of the Red Brook bridge ownership question and the sewer, gas, and water lines that run beneath it.
Turbine-opponent Haggerty, meanwhile, cites the need for more board of health review even though the structures would go up in neighboring Plymouth; he argues adverse impacts would be felt in Head of the Bay and Bournedale.
Arguments against selectmen granting an easement for associated equipment delivery include safety, the environment, potential damage to the roads, liability, and a need for detailed plans and engineering calculations related to delivery. Environmental issues as well have been cited in recent weeks by Bournedale residents living near the South Plymouth line.
Bourne Fire Chief Norman Sylvester advised selectmen a fire watch would have to be maintained in Head of the Bay during early-morning equipment delivery given homes in the area and the Hideaway Village complex.
Selectmen recognize that regulatory review of the Mann plan was completed by Plymouth authorities, but board member Peter Meier says a Bourne Board of Health regulation about turbines, even those in neighboring towns, that adversely impact Bourne residents should come into play before a roadway easement in Head of the Bay Road is granted.
Selectmen on July 14 relayed the easement request to Town Counsel Robert S. Troy’s review and scheduled a July 21 meeting especially for more review of the unfolding issue.
Delivery of the turbines themselves is slated for July 26.
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