BOURNE – The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved health officials’ request to seek legal action to stop the construction of four wind turbines just over the town line in South Plymouth because of the potential adverse effects on Bourne residents’ health.
After over an hour of debate, the selectmen authorized the Board of Health to meet with the town counsel and discuss filing an injunction against Future Generation Wind.
The logistics and budget of doing so remain unknown, but residents expressed overwhelming support for the move.
Speaking passionately before the board, many residents said they worry the noise and flicker created by the spinning of the turbines will be bothersome. Some said simply the sight of the 500-foot machines on the horizon would be an eyesore and cause their property values to drop.
“It doesn’t have to make noise or flicker in order to be an ugly situation for us,” said Ron Mataeson of Wolf Road. “We’re not talking about something that’s on the ground, we’re talking about something that’s way up in the air. That’s visual.”
An attorney representing ConEdison, the turbines’ owner, said that the town of Bourne didn’t have sufficient evidence to seek an injunction since the project is being built over town lines and that taking legal action could be a long and expensive process.
“I am the one who advised the client that the town of Bourne does not have jurisdiction over the town of Plymouth,” said attorney Jonathan Fitch. “If the issue is as fuzzy as it may be, it’s not going to be a trial court, it’s going be an appeals court. It could be years. I think it is a serious mistake on anybody’s part to go headlong into litigation.”
Selectmen also voted unanimously in favor of a motion to instruct the town administrator to investigate a plan to eventually bring dispatch services into the fire house. Taking on dispatch responsibilities currently being handled by the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office would be a cost-saving measure, according to town officials. The sheriff currently charges the town $125,000 a year for the service.
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