HOLLAND – Voters and property taxpayers in Holland are asked to respond by Oct. 20 to a mailed survey about whether they support or oppose an industrial wind turbine.
The survey questionnaire went out late last week, town clerk Diane Judd said.
The survey is targeted to both taxpayers and property owners, with care taken so that a voter who is also a taxpayer would still only receive one survey.
The town wants to establish whether voters and property owners want to see an industrial-grade wind turbine put up on Dairy Air Farm on School Road. One selectman, board Chairman Brett Farrow, wants to see the reaction to the survey before joining the other two selectmen in opposing the proposed wind turbine.
Bryan and Kim Champney are working with renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf and consultants Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA) to prepare studies about the impacts of the lone turbine, expected to be almost 500 feet tall and have a capacity to generate 2 megawatts of electricity.
They have alerted the town and neighbors that they will apply for a certificate of public good from state utility regulators for a meteorological tower to measure wind speeds. The town has voted to intervene in that process.
On Monday evening, the Holland Select Board stated that the board will site safety, health issues, aesthetics and property values when challenging the “met” tower application. Others are concerned about ice throw from the blades of the wind turbine, which would be located not far from School Road.
In other related business, the selectmen noted that they are under no legal obligation to hold a special meeting to vote on a petition demanding that the town adopt a code of ethics that all elected and appointed town officials would have to follow.
Residents who signed the petition said that some town officials have personal interests involved when working for the town.
An attorney with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns said that the voters do not have the legal authority to force the selectmen to call a legally binding referendum on this issue, Judd told residents.
The League provided a conflict of interest policy which the select board voted to adopt effective immediately which applies to all town officials, elected and appointed.
The select board had scheduled a floor vote later this month on the code of ethics provided in the petition, but cancelled it on the advice of the League’s attorney and will hold a regular select board meeting on Oct. 17.
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