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Holland voters, property owners oppose Dairy Air turbine by big margin

HOLLAND – Voters and property owners overwhelmingly oppose a proposed industrial-sized wind turbine planned for Dairy Air Farm.

The results of a mailed-in survey sent by the Holland Select Board and opened and counted Monday evening by the Board of Civil Authority were 314 not in favor, 59 in favor and 44 undecided.

The survey went out to 591 voters and property owners.

“That’s a lot more than I expected,” Town Clerk Diane Judd said after the votes were counted.

The survey was designed by the select board to find out how residents think about the planned 500-foot-tall wind turbine.

The project by Dairy Air Wind, owned by developer David Blittersdorf, would go on a farm field owned by Brian and Kim Champney off School Road. The turbine would be about a mile from the Holland elementary school and town clerk’s office.

The select board voted 2-0 to oppose the project, with Chairman Brett Farrow saying he would wait until he saw how people think about the project before deciding.

The board will have to decide soon how to challenge the project. The subject was not on Monday evening’s select board agenda.

On Monday, Dairy Air Wind sent notice that in 45 days an application for a certificate of public good would go to the Vermont Public Service Board for approval. The notice went to Holland, neighboring towns and property owners and state agencies.

The survey went to the 397 registered voters in Holland and the rest to property owners. Each parcel received one ballot. Voters received one ballot. If a voter owns property, he or she still only received one ballot.

A handful of ballots were mailed after the deadline and were not included in the tally.

Two ballots were not counted, because the two owners of one parcel took their one ballot and copied it in order to send in two survey results.

The Board of Civil Authority called that a spoiled ballot.

The survey does not have legal weight but it does indicate the depth of opposition to the single wind turbine project.

The developer wants to have permits in hand by this time next year in order to break ground before the end of 2017.