HOLLAND – More than two dozen people crowded Monday’s Holland Select Board meeting to protest the idea of an industrial-sized wind turbine on a Holland dairy farm.
Dairy Air Farm owners Kim and Brian Champney are working with VERA Renewables and David Blittersdorf to start the process of erecting a large wind turbine on their School Road farm. Blittersdorf also wants two wind turbines on his own Irasburg property on Kidder Hill.
Kim Champney talked about the project at the select board meeting, according to minutes of the meeting.
Martha Staskus of VERA Renewables said the project would require testing and need permits before the turbine could be erected. The one wind turbine would generate $20,000 in annual tax revenue for Holland and pay an additional $25,000 in state education taxes, Staskus said, according to the minutes.
Most of the residents present were opposed to the idea at what town clerk Diane Judd called a heated and emotional meeting.
One resident, Suzie Moulton, told Champney that she opposed the wind turbine but not the Champney family, saying her opposition was not personal.
Others present talked about the potential for health impacts on neighbors and raised concerns about the impacts on wells and the proximity to the school, which is several miles from the farm on School Road.
The select board voted to hold a public meeting about the wind project on Thursday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. They will invite neighboring towns to participate, according to the minutes.
The board also wanted to invite Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, an opponent of industrial wind projects, to help represent the town at regulatory hearings before the Public Service Board if the Dairy Air Wind project goes forward.
Blittersdorf announced his plans for the two turbines in Irasburg but his project was delayed due to an investigation over the lack of a permit for a wind test tower on his property. He has not filed the required 45-day notice of application for a certificate of public good for the two turbines.
That investigation is still ongoing. Meanwhile, Irasburg is preparing to adopt part of a first-time-ever town plan to address siting of renewable energy projects in hopes that the town plan give the town a say during the regulatory process.
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