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Temple voters choose new road commissioner, selectman; approve industrial development moratorium  

The town passed a wind power development ordinance a few years ago. Interest in developing a comp plan was reignited after Renewable Energy Systems America, Inc. in January made a pitch at a public meeting to install between 12 and 25 wind turbines on the western side of town, despite the town’s ordinance prohibiting industrial-size turbine development.

Planning Board member Janine Winn said that the wind power ordinance “is in a good solid position” and that “the possibility of a wind power development is dead in the water unless the town repeals the ordinance.” Others noted the move towards developing a comprehensive plan is not to single out wind power, but the planning board can’t do it job without a comprehensive plan.

Residents agreed and overwhelmingly voted for the moratorium to be set in place.

Credit:  Posted by Bobbie Hanstein | Daily Bulldog | March 15, 2016 | www.dailybulldog.com ~~

TEMPLE – It was standing room only at the annual town meeting Monday night as voters elected a new selectman and road commissioner and passed an 180-day moratorium on all industrial development to give some time for a committee to draft a Comprehensive Plan for the community’s development.

The town’s road commissioner of 20 years, Raymond Nile, was defeated by a vote of 53 to 42 in favor of Toby Hellgren for the two-year term. Nile told residents before the vote he’s been road commissioner for many years and “I’ve got a good idea how it should be done.” Hellgren said he’d “just try to do a good job.”

Immediately after the vote, an unidentified man walked across the front of the hall and before exiting turned and yelled an obscenity at voters while displaying offensive hand gestures. State Sen. Tom Saviello, who was serving at the meeting’s moderator, told the man to “just leave.” The man yelled another obscenity at Saviello before exiting and slamming the door shut.

The Town Hall’s meeting room was jammed-packed with some standing in the back for the lack of enough chairs was silent for a moment as if in shock, then Saviello began to read the next article. The meeting progressed politely with many good discussions at various articles.

James Holland was elected to a three-year selectman term. Selectman Jean Mitchell decided not to run again after serving for four years. Residents applauded her work. Holland, who is the Capital Area Technical Center director, said his job requires “budgeting everyday” and added, “I will do the best job I can for the town.” Betsey Hyde was reelected to a three-year term on the Mt. Blue Regional School District board of directors. Hyde has served seven years on the board and said as the board enters the budgeting season, “I promise to do my very best.”

After all of the municipal spending articles were approved except a new $500 request from Community Concepts, Inc., residents easily passed Article 53 which proposed an 180-day moratorium on applications, permits, and licensing for industrial development.

The article proposed to allow time for a comprehensive planning committee to be formed and a plan to be developed and adopted. If 180 days is not enough time, another 180 days may be implemented.

Those speaking in favor said the town needs a comprehensive plan to enact zoning specifications and that the planning board can’t do its job without it. It was pointed out that two mobile homes have been installed on the intervale, a flood plain area, which a zoning designation would presumably prohibit if one were enacted.

The town passed a wind power development ordinance a few years ago. Interest in developing a comp plan was reignited after Renewable Energy Systems America, Inc. in January made a pitch at a public meeting to install between 12 and 25 wind turbines on the western side of town, despite the town’s ordinance prohibiting industrial-size turbine development.

Planning Board member Janine Winn said that the wind power ordinance “is in a good solid position” and that “the possibility of a wind power development is dead in the water unless the town repeals the ordinance.” Others noted the move towards developing a comprehensive plan is not to single out wind power, but the planning board can’t do it job without a comprehensive plan.

Residents agreed and overwhelmingly voted for the moratorium to be set in place.

The proposed municipal budget, approved as recommended, totaled $497,812, which is nearly identical to last year’s budget. The town meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. after a dusting of snow had fallen.

Source:  Posted by Bobbie Hanstein | Daily Bulldog | March 15, 2016 | www.dailybulldog.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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