PERU – The Peru Board of Selectmen voted Monday night to send a letter to the state Land Use Planning Commission requesting it remove Milton Township from the state’s list of areas for expedited permitting for wind power projects.
The decision followed a request from Peter Fetchko of Woodstock, who asked if selectmen were aware of the proposed project.
Two of the five said they had heard rumors or guessed a project was in the works.
EverPower Wind Holdings in Pittsburgh, Pa., has been working on the project for over two years, without consulting neighboring towns which might be impacted, Fetchko said. A Peru resident living near the town’s border would be affected by other nearby wind projects which are not governed by the town’s wind ordinance, he said.
Seventeen Milton voters signed a petition requesting the LUPC to conduct a substantive review examining whether the township could have its permitting process for wind power development reduced from expedited status to give more time to review the information, Fetchko said.
He asked the Peru board to support Milton Township residents and surrounding towns by writing to the commission by its June 29 deadline to request the project be removed from expedited status.
Parties representing EverPower at a June 21 meeting of the Oxford County commissioners said the company would abandon the project entirely if the permitting process was downgraded from an expedited status.
Witherell asked what the state’s requirement was for distance between a wind turbine and a home.
Fetchko said the state has none, but it does have sound limits.
“The state has a very lax policy,” Selectman Larry Snowman said.
Selectman Carol Roach asked Fetchko if he had a sample letter to use as a guide for writing to the LUPC, and he provided her with a copy of the letter from Woodstock selectmen.
The letter from Woodstock noted the board had recently learned of the proposed 12-turbine project.
Selectman Raquel Welch made a motion to send a letter to the LUPC and it was unanimously approved.
In other business:
• A building permit was approved for James Scott to replace a storage building on his property.
• Members of the Recreational Fields Committee discussed being reinstated after several years of inactivity. The committee would oversee maintenance of a neglected Little League baseball field.
• Selectman Roach presented a plan to improve key control at the Town Office building. She said a local locksmith agreed to re-key existing locks and provide selectmen with any key copies they need.
• There was discussion of a suggestion to Friends of Peru Elementary School that it consider paying for installation of an electrical outlet and a water faucet outside the building so the Town Office can be kept locked when outside events are held.
• Peru Fire Chief Bill Hussey discussed a wide range of issues regarding the replacement of the town’s fire substation at Worthley Pond. Roach strongly recommended a site survey be conducted to determine the best location for the proposed new fire station. The issue will be discussed again at the July 11 meeting.
• Selectmen discussed recommended working hours for a board secretary, who has yet to be hired.
• The board agreed that the town needed to exercise more oversight regarding the behavior of aggressive or vicious dogs.
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