DIXFIELD – Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Wednesday that the Board of Selectmen will decide how to amend a proposed wind ordinance at its meeting in July.
This month, residents voted 178-220 against approving the most recent version of the ordinance, which included the state standard for sound limits of 42 decibels at night and 55 decibels during the day.
The ordinance was written after Patriot Renewables of Quincy, Mass., approached town officials in October 2010 about constructing wind turbines on Colonel Holman Mountain ridge. It passed in November 2012, but its zoning restrictions 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 for the ordinance, which included a limit of 42 decibels at night and 55 decibels during the day. 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.
Puiia said if the board wishes to present the ordinance for a vote in November, they will have to decide well in advance what it will be.
“You want to make sure that there’s a certified copy in the Town Office 60 days prior to the vote, which means they need something written by September,” he said.
Puiia said the board discussed some suggestions at Monday evening’s meeting.
“One suggestion was the possibility of rescinding the current ordinance on the books and going with the DEP state standards,” he said. “That would allow the DEP to govern the wind project, rather than being regulated by Dixfield.”
Another suggestion was to have residents vote on the ordinance draft written by lawyer Kristen Collins that was amended to include DEP sound standards.
“There was some discussion, but nothing was made official at Monday’s meeting,” Puiia said. “The overall consensus was to place the issue at the end of their July 11 meeting, where they can discuss their next steps.”
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