Running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen
Blayne Street, Dixfield
Small business owner
Mexico High School and University of Maine graduate
Three children, two grandchildren
Norine Clarke believes an industrial wind farm will be a good thing for the town's tax base and the town's taxpayers.
As a former selectman for nearly six years, she and former Selectman Steve Donahue wrote a wind energy ordinance that Dixfield residents will also vote on in the Nov. 6 general election.
“People say a wind farm will cost more by raising valuations, particularly for school and county taxes, but there are many ways to handle the income that doesn't place a burden on the town, but gives us money. It depends on how it's done by arranging how the taxes are applied,” she said.
The project is expected to bring in about $800,000 annually in property taxes plus another $4,000 a year for each of the 12 to 14 turbines that are planned for construction.
Clarke said the proposed ordinance provides regulations that protect the environment, keeps noise to a minimum, provides many safety measures, and calls for numerous requirements to be met by the windfarm's owner if the turbines are decommissioned.
“These projects don't cut off mountain tops,” she said. “They reforest and leave the road just wide enough for service vehicles.”
She believes property taxes would likely drop by one-third to one-half if the wind mills are built.
Clarke is also very active in many community activities, including the Economic Development Council, the Outdoor Market Committee, and other groups concerned with the welfare of the town. She served on the Finance Committee for more than 30 years.
Some residents have suggested that the positions of town manager and town treasurer not be replaced when the two people leave in early January. Instead, she said the suggestion has been made to hire an administrative assistant.
“I see that as going backwards. I'm concerned about the future of the town in general, and can't see not taking advantage of what the wind farm could give us,” she said. “I want to continue the good work that's been done. It's also important that a woman be on the board.”
She asks for residents' votes whether they want wind power or not.
“If the wind ordinance is voted down, there's no wind project,” she said.