A. Morin: It was a close vote

I offer a different perspective on Angus King’s displeasure with an anti-King TV ad featuring Record Hill Wind in Roxbury.

Kathy Sutton, wife of John Sutton (chairman of the Board of Selectmen for Roxbury), says some of the people in the ad are not even from Roxbury and so, essentially, why should their opinion count?

But four of the five people live at Roxbury Pond full time or for half the year, and are part of the town who pay most of the taxes and who have a longtime history, some since childhood, of coming to a place which is now spoiled by the dominating views of industrialized structures.

The vote to allow King’s wind business was a very close one, with people most affected having no vote. There were no local jobs created with the exception of a single management position, and some electricity will be free as long as the project makes money.

The tax reduction, while making people feel like they won the lottery, is temporary, as explained by Mike Rogers from Maine Revenue Services in Augusta.

Furthermore, Sutton and the Board of Selectmen have chosen this time of economic stress for a revaluation of the properties in the town. So while the mill rate has decreased, it is hard to conceive of a property revaluation that does not increase the tax load for all property owners. Half the town did not want the landscape-dominating structures, but now the whole town is stuck with them.

Anne Morin, Rumford

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Comments

 's picture

close vote

When the people most affected have no vote, something is wrong. For development, there should be a 75% minimum instead of a simple majority. It is not like election to public office, say 4 years and the term is over. This industrial litter is there for a long time. Big impact for expensive power. Bad deal for Maine.

 's picture

As all too often happens, a

As all too often happens, a select board and town manager swayed by a chance to fund and spend; persuades, manipulates and coerces the unsuspecting constituents into thinking they are working in their best interests by promoting the losing proposition of wind, which many European Countries are now discovering to their taxpayer's and ratepayer's suffering is a real big loser. If wind is not in the best interests of our nation, the only thing that can make it the best interest of a town within the nation is the scheme of instant money. If this scheme sounds familiar, it should, remember the mortgage crash, based of easy money that wasn't there. Wind is based on electricity that isn't there, because any electricity to be useful needs to be dis-patchable. ( the ability to exist and be called upon for use in an instant.)
King got out, Roxbury will have to brace itself for the awaiting consequences. The saying is " I,m from the government and I'm here to help you " Mr. King, you certainly are smooth.The Town of Byron had a good read on this slickster and threw him out of town.

 's picture

Wind Industry Play Book

I'm sure this suave huckster worked on town officials way before the residents had a clue as to what was going on. It is right out of the wind industry play book. It was discovered through a Freedom of Access Act filing that the town officials in Lincoln were talking to and meeting secretly with First Wind for SIX YEARS before the announcement of the Rollins Wind project. These carpetbaggers went through a number of changes in Town Council members and two Town Managers to get their way. They were in Town Hall so much that the Town of Lincoln should have given them a desk and charged them rent!

A law I would like to see introduced is a public disclosure and notice law that whenever a permit for a meteorology data gathering tower (known as a "met tower") is filed that a notice be published in the regional daily newspaper and any weekly newspapers serving the region as well as a letter mailed to every property owner within 8 miles of the site, 8 miles being the arbitrary limit of scenic impact in the wind law. This would give local people an opportunity to decide whether or not they want to regulate such a potential development before a secret deal is sealed behind their backs.

 's picture

Record Hill Wind & Angus King

First of all, King is thin skinned. He knew his actions involved with Record Hill Wind was going to stir up controversy, which it has, bcause he has made a career of fooling people with his suave charm while being a manipulative scoundrel in his real world scheming. Do not think for a moment he cares a twit about the people of Roxbury. This project is all about his EGO and an opportunity to feed at the tax subsidy trough.

The payments for electricity to residents? In the context of the money flowing through that project, it is like me giving a penny to every household and I can easily spend $4. But what about the $33.7 million outright gift of taxpayer money that Independence Wind received on June 8th of this year? (ARRA Sec. 1603) Roxbury didn't see a penny of that!

Yes, when multi-million dollar industrial complexes come on the tax roles of a small town, taxes go down. This will be offset two years hence when the state evaluation catches up and Roxbury's state revenue sharing and education subsidy plummet. Plus, the contribution to the school district and county tax will go up. Enjoy the bit of a tax break for 2 years, Roxbury, because it will be short lived. Finally, every property owner on Roxbury Pond should demand a re-valuation because they now have an un-sellable property.

 's picture

Everyone who paid property

Everyone who paid property taxes to the town of Roxbury should have had a vote on this industrial wind project, not just the year round residents. When the camp owners arrived to open their camps, they were looking at a line of enormous blinking turbines overwhelming the landscape. Many had no idea the project was even in the pipeline. This must have felt like the ultimate betrayal. Did they lose property value? You bet they did. The tax abatement is temporary but those towers will be standing there until they collapse in an oily heap of rust. The cost to connect these remote projects to the grid? Check out your delivery rates, they just went up by 19%. Industrial wind won't wean us off foreign oil, reduce CO2 or lower our electric rates. All it has the power to do is destroy Maine's biggest economic engine, tourism.

Jim Lutz's picture

Thank You Anne

Thank you for stating what all of us who have had Industry shoved down our throats in the pristine woods of Maine really feel about the injustice. Many of us don't actually LIVE on the lakes full time, but we pay taxes and enjoy relaxing on them and have for years. That has been taken away from us, and can never be restored. I just spoke with a friend of mine who related that he thought retiring to Maine would be a goodthing, but will really reconsider due to the destruction by this wastefull energy initiative.
Nationwide there are more than 14,000 abandoned wind turbines, derelicts that continue to spin, rust, catch fire, collapse and kill birds. I am sorely afraid that this will be the legacy in Maine. All this damage is being done to save CO2 from being released into the atmosphere . . . . . Wind is not the answer. Leave the trees and grasses on the mountains, and they will sequester more CO2 than the turbines save.
Thank you again, and keep putting the word out.
http://www.windtaskforce.org/

 's picture

Wind Turbines affect property values

Jim, you speak of someone who now might not comes to Maine to contribute to our state while enjoying it's beauty, natural resources, and "Quality of Place". There are hundreds of vacation properties for sale in the Lincoln Lakes region. Nothing is selling, even at reduced prices due to the turbines that are seen on all of the lakes & ponds. They dominate the landscape so much.

I have two older friends on Caribou Pond in Lincoln who both wanted to sell their camps for retirement income who can no longer do so. One sees 13 turbines, the other 6 because he is in a cove. My sister had a buyer for her camp on Mattawamkeag Lake who backed out when he found out about the Oakfield Wind project. And so it goes, with Mainers losing the value of their properties so the wind thieves can collect subsidies and sell RECs.

Since this letter was about Roxbury and I happened to spend an afternoon at Roxbury Pond a few weeks ago, here is the link to a web album of the photos from that day. https://picasaweb.google.com/101554457531034815464/RoxburyPond# View the photos and then ask yourself if you would want to invest in a vacation home or live year round with a view like that inflicted on one of the most stunning lake settings in Maine.

 's picture

You say...

"The vote to allow King’s wind business was a very close one, with people most affected having no vote." Does that mean Rumford folks weren't allowed to vote?

 's picture

close

Do not forget that King Angus threatened to sue the town if they voted against the project.

Keep bringing the truths to light.

GRID scale WIND is not good for Maine.

Paul Williamson of Maine Wind Industry says in BDN....
Short-term quibbling on small jobs numbers or unnoticeable rate increases is foolish. Opportunities like this come to Maine once in a lifetime.

Bull, 20 years and the industry is still subsidized.

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