Ordinance is pro-Rumford

As a Wind Power Advisory Committee member, I wish to address questions surrounding the ordinance recently presented to Rumford’s Board of Selectmen.

WPAC’s goal in crafting this ordinance was the health and safety of Rumford’s citizens. WPAC did not target First Wind; we addressed any potential wind power project in Rumford. WPAC’s meetings are open to the public, meeting minutes are posted on Rumford’s website, and there has been coverage in the media.

The board has questioned proposed setback and noise limits, and why we did not follow the state’s “standard model.” We chose Dixmont’s ordinance as a starting point because it was the most protective. These limits are in line with the World Health Organization’s European section, where a long history of wind development has provided ample opportunity to discover where health-impacting mistakes were made.

Bottom line: The proposed ordinance is not anti-wind; it is pro-Rumford.

When Maine Revenue Services presented the WPAC an $80 million model, it showed minimal property tax benefit to Rumford. First Wind’s proposed project is $60M (25 percent less); the tax benefits would very likely be less as well.

Finally, First Wind’s often angry tone is winning no friends in this debate. I am pro-wind but dismayed by First Wind’s consistent inability to present a rational and detailed explanation of the presumed benefits of a wind power project in the River Valley. As a citizen of Rumford, I am quite turned off by its attitude.

Charles Hoff, Rumford

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Comments

 's picture

It's time for a new Special Interest Group

It is time for a new special interest group in Rumford, one that supports economic development and is interesting in sending out the message to business and industry, "we want you here," we want jobs, Roger Arsenault and his cronies have a personal ax to grind with First Wind and they have the nerve to be hitting us up year after year for Black Mountain which he also controls? Come on that's crap, Roger! Roger, you are not doing right by this down that has been supporting you and your business a lot of years. We can't let these people destroy what's left of our town. The mill is coming back a little, maybe, haven't we learned not to put all our eggs in that basket? We have all lived with the noise and only they and God knows what pollution coming out of there for over 100 years, these wind turbines wont hold a candle to the noise coming from that mill every day and ALL night and no pollution. I'm not saying we give them free rein, but be reasonable. If we aren't no one will come, ever. This ordinance the selectmen have been threatened and coerced by this vigilante group to put on the November ballot has to be voted down for our survival plain and simple.

Mike DiCenso's picture

oops

A brief correction. Two councillors, Mike and Marscella, did do the homework. The other councillors are on the payroll or just refuse to listen.

Mike DiCenso's picture

Windsprawl

Rumford is looking to protect its citizens. What is wrong with that? At least they took the time and researched wind power unlike Lincoln whose Town Council was too lazy and gullibly accepted the fabrications , half truths and exaggerations of the wind developers. Beware of any developer who comes to your town armed with lawyers from Bangor to Portland. They are up to no good. We are so close to HydroQuebec. Why can't Maine have 6 cents per kw/h like the deal Vermont just signed? Why can't we have cheap hydro power instead of expensive windsprawl and get to keep our scenery and mtn. tops? All the developers want is to rob our tax dollars. That doesn't sit well with most Mainers.

 's picture

Thank you Charles Hoff

A month ago, Andy Novey from Patriot Renewables looked me in the eye and said that 2000 ft was a sufficient setback for 400 ft tall 110 dBA industrial machines. Patriot Renewables and First Wind have proven they have no compassion for the people who live in Western Maine. They do not weight their huge negative impacts with their small nameplate capacities and dislike hearing about it.

Fortunately, many of us have mastered words like moratorium and ordinance and will not stop until we have protected our families and our friends. Labeling people as "anti-wind" because they believe industrial wind parks should be placed back away from people is prejudice. Thankfully, the informed citizens of Maine can see right through this misjudgment.

Tom Olds's picture

Good job Advisory Committee!

The committee's job was to protect the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of Rumford and that's exactly what they did. First Wind's job is to put up turbines anywhere they can, period!

Everyone in Rumford could have gone to the meetings and read the same thousands of pages of noise studies, etc., etc. that the committee did...but most chose not to. Having been there and done that in Jackson, I can say that it was absolutely exhausting. If I had to choose between doing that again or having all my teeth pulled…”Hello Mr. Dentist”. But for anyone who sticks with it till the bitter end, they can reach only one conclusion...turbines do not belong within a mile to a mile and a half of families.

As far as First Wind's offer to "help" draft the ordinance, it would be like having the fox help the farmer design the new chicken coop. Rumford's committee did their homework and did plenty of it, so kudos to them.

Recently Denmark, one of the world’s leaders in wind power, inventors of the “Wind Farm” and home of Vestas, the world’s number one wind turbine manufacturer, made two crucial decisions. First, they slashed subsidies to the wind industry and second, because of public anger over turbine noise and loss of property values near turbines, they banned all new land based wind farms! Now that’s quite a change for a country that has more turbines per capita than anywhere else in the world!

Rumford’s proposed ordinance didn’t even go that far.

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

anti-wind power special interest??

Oh! you must mean the citizens of Rumford, Dixfield, and Roxbury that will be adversely affected by the development of wind farms. The special interest, the folks waiting with their hands out for huge government subsidies are these temporary wind companies.
The committee did good work. Unlike Dixfield where we were sold out and no public comment will be allowed before the vote.

Covering Butt

Mr. Hoff you are now attempting to protect your butt side and the wind committees. If you and your committee were concerned about Rumford you would have worked with First Wind instead of against. The committee was anti wind and we all know that. So save your breath.

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