Board discusses wind-farm proposal

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SUMNER — Selectmen discussed a pending wind-farm proposal Tuesday that would be located on Mt. Tom.

The plan from Clear Sky Energy LLC of Barnstable, Mass., would consist of five windmills directly behind the village of West Sumner and Pleasant Pond, according to Planning Board member Larry O’Rourke, who was present at the meeting.

O’Rourke said this is an issue that must be dealt with now. He said the town had expressed its voice on the wind issue two years ago and had rejected the idea. However, nothing was done to enact an ordinance.

In 2009, the town rejected a proposed wind farm on Mollyockett Mountain off Redding Road, which would have had three turbines on town property.

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The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, to discuss wind power options, according to Town Clerk Susan Runes.

O’Rourke said it was time for the town to discuss whether or not to go with a moratorium for wind farms. The members of the Planning Board who were present were in favor of a six-month moratorium while they develop an ordinance.

Runes said if selectmen called a special town meeting to vote on a moratorium, it would be easier than having the Planning Board circulate a petition.

In other business, Suzanne Bussiere of Central Maine Power Co. was present to report on Smart Meters, which will begin to be installed in town in the fall.

Bussiere said there are 547 meters in Sumner that need to be converted. She said they started installing them seven months ago in Maine and have changed 190,000 to date.

Bussiere said the meter changers were dressed in protective clothing to protect them from electrical arcing while changing the meters and not from any radiation. She said there is no danger to the public from radiation.

A question was raised as to whether CMP could turn off power to a house and Bussiere said they couldn’t control anything inside the house.

Bussiere said it would be possible for people to get online each day and check on how much power was being used.

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