CARTHAGE — Residents will have a chance Monday to decide whether to approve a six-month moratorium on the development of industrial wind farms.
The special town meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Community Building at the intersection with Route 142.
The town meeting was prompted by a citizens' petition with more than 150 signatures calling for a moratorium.
Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., wants to build 13 turbines along a ridge that includes Saddleback Mountain, and another four turbines if the town succeeds in getting clear title to about 320 acres along the same ridge.
Patriot Renewables Chief Executive Officer Todd Presson and project developer Andy Novey made a presentation on the project last week. About 70 people from Carthage and several nearby towns attended.
On Thursday, Mathew Eddy of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group presented some possibilities for a tax-increment-financing package that could affect the town if the project goes forward.
First Selectman Steve Brown said Friday that Michael Rogers of Maine Revenue Services had been scheduled to make a presentation as well, but was unable to attend. Brown said Rogers will provide MRS information at a later time.
The moratorium would allow selectmen to determine the most appropriate methods to regulate industrial wind turbine projects.
The proposed moratorium states that because the town has no local land use regulations, except for shoreland zoning, “there exists the potential for serious public harm and adverse financial impact.”
The developers must undergo a lengthy permitting process through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Brown said that because the town has no comprehensive plan or ordinances, the state DEP may take on the responsibility and liability for the planned project.
“If the moratorium passes, we'll go on from there,” he said.
If a credit enhancement-agreement is worked out with Patriot Renewables, Brown said the town could gain a number of financial benefits, as well as conservation easements for public recreation.
Those who have questioned or opposed such a plan have said that noise could have health implications. Others are concerned with the potential visual or wildlife impacts.