Wind project advancing

CARTHAGE – Selectmen hope to know within the next few weeks whether 320 acres known for a century as town property is really owned by the town.

If so, they may be included in a wind turbine project proposed by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass.

First Selectman Stephen Brown said Rumford lawyer Jennifer Kreckel was working on the documentation to present to a Franklin County court that could name the town as the property owners.

Residents at the annual town meeting last year approved spending up to $5,000 for the legal work.

Patriot Renewables has proposed building up to 13 wind turbines on a 2- to 3-mile section of the Saddleback Mountain Ridge on privately owned land. The company has options to buy about 1,000 acres.

The town-owned parcel is an extension of the privately owned property and could be the site of another four to six turbines.

Todd Presson, chief operating officer for Patriot Renewables, said the company had collected more than a year 's worth of data on such things as wind speed and abundance, bird species, wetlands and other environmental issues. He hopes to file the project's permitting information to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection when the town determines whether it owns the adjacent 320 acres.

If that's not possible, the company will go ahead with submission of the environmental data to the DEP, and file additional information on the town property at a later time.

If the town allows use of its land for part of the wind farm, it could collect royalties from the energy produced.

Presson said, and Brown confirmed, that the company may pursue a partial tax-increment financing proposal on the project.

“We've been talking about it for a while,” Presson said. “Part of the tax revenue would be subject to the TIF; part would go into the town's general fund.”

Brown said a partial TIF could be an advantage for the town. Although such consideration is preliminary, he said TIF funds could go into such things as a development trust for the village area. TIFs are tax incentives for businesses that agree to certain conditions in exchange for deferred taxes on new development.

Because the land on which most of the project would be built is privately owned and subject only to state regulations, Carthage residents would not have a say in whether it could be built. However, if the town lots are used, residents would determine whether to allow construction of wind turbines.

Presson said the DEP application should be submitted within a month.

Patriot Renewables plans to hold a public informational meeting on its proposal sometime in March or April.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Isn't is amazing how hostile

Isn't is amazing how hostile the press is to Maine people!! The NERVE of this so-called reporter, Eileen Adams, taking the side of the hucksters and snake oil salesmen - the THUGS, CROOKS AND LIARS who are destroying our state just to enrich themselves. The NERVE or her saying we don't have any rights!!!

Our state is being taken by eminent domain over the objections of thousands of Honest, hard working Maine people and she doesn't even have the DECENCY to report their side.

I wouldn't hire her to clean toilets.

 's picture

Carthage residents *can* stop

Carthage residents *can* stop this process if they want to. The state regulations are bogus. This is a scam and our way of life is going to change. Everyone who recreates and hunts in that area will see a change. Everyone who simply admires unspoiled mountains will see a change. Regardless of whether or not there is wiggle room with the ridge, the people of Carthage need to take a stand on that mountain top. These are enormous turbines we're talking about which will be seen for miles and they are going to blast that mountain! It's time to take it back and kick the bums from away (who are spending our money) out of town. Carthage does not want to be the only town in an entire region who did not have the foresight to preserve their land and the peace and quiet that comes with it. If this project is allowed to continue, we may as well all pack it up and move to the city.

 

 's picture

Carthage and the wind project

Carthage and the wind project proposed for Saddleback Mountain is creating noise again:
           As this project gets closer and closer to reality, many people in Carthage are posing some very good questions.
          Will I lose access to land that has always been open for recreational use ? How much influence will this influx of money have on my town ? Carthage has always been appealing because of their citizen’s unified stance against government intervention on their quality of life. Many towns in Maine once embraced this same remarkable set of values; the right to our individual freedoms and responsibilities.
           But, money is alluring and powerful. A pot of gold glitters and beckons for great distances. Money opens the path for many new ideas. As a town acquires increased wealth, the use of this wealth, and, of course, hand in hand, with this comes the arguments on how to use this wealth, has proven to change the character of many a community. Carthage will draw new blood to town as this new wealth will attract many, surmising ways to spend it.
        The doors to progress will soon open in Carthage and this strong, quiet, independent town will undergo changes. The influence of government action isn’t far away. For government, after all, is nothing but a collection of people determined to provide you  “ quality of place” under the guise of progress. and it’s the money that initiates it.

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