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Wind ordinance on Dixfield board agenda

DIXFIELD – The Board of Selectmen will meet Monday, March 14, to discuss feedback from a recent public hearing on the revised Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Ludden Memorial Library.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said that at the March 14 board meeting that selectmen will review feedback and attempt to finalize an ordinance draft to put before voters on June 14.

“I’m predicting that they’ll try and determine what the final draft of the ordinance is going to look like,” Puiia said. “There was a suggestion that a public hearing be held to listen to the petitioners and see if their intent of the petition was being met.”

He said that during the March 3 public hearing, some residents disapproved of language that referred to low-frequency sound, while others argued in favor of an ordinance that addressed it.

Puiia said the town has to send the ordinance to print 60 days prior to the vote, and the latest the board should wait to finalize it is March 28.

The ordinance was written after Patriot Renewables of Quincy, Mass., approached town officials in October 2010 about constructing wind turbines on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridge. It passed in November 2012, but zoning restrictions in it were unenforceable. In November 2014, an amended version was rejected. In June 2015, the Planning Board’s original draft was also rejected.

In August 2015, selectmen accepted a citizen petition to adopt the sound standards of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection – including a limit of 42 decibels at night and 55 decibels during the day – for the ordinance.

In January, the board unanimously voted to include the DEP sound levels in the ordinance, but not 27 pages of DEP standards that Board of Selectmen Chairman Hart Daley said were not applicable to the town.

Other items on the agenda Monday include:

* Public Works Department update;

* Androscoggin Valley Council of Government ballot for election of officers in 2016;

* Municipal revenue sharing report for 2016-17 fiscal year;

* WVAC TV 7 request for cable franchise fees; and

* Discussion on the Distinguished Citizen of the Year.