Wind ordinance hearing draws few

RUMFORD — Few people turned out Monday night for a public hearing on a proposed wind ordinance that residents will decide on Nov. 2.

Eileen M. Adams/Sun Journal

Neil Kiely, director of development for New England for First Wind LLC, spoke of the benefits of wind power development in Rumford at Monday's Rotary Club weekly meeting.

Those who spoke, however, said the ordinance was a protective measure for Rumford residents.

“If there is no wind ordinance, citizens are at the mercy of developers,” said Jim Thibodeau, a member of the Wind Advisory Committee “If there is no ordinance and you have an issue, you have no power. This is protective. Please vote this in.”

Also speaking were Dan McKay, who opposes a similar project in Dixfield and wind development in general, Rumford resident Len Greaney and Dr. Albert Aniel, who has also opposed the the development of wind projects in the area because of what he said is a danger to peoples' health.

Representatives of potential developers First Wind LLC of Boston, Mass., did not speak during the hearing.

Following the hearing, Neil Kiely, First Wind's director of development for New England, said that there will be opportunities to speak at two more Rumford meetings set for Oct. 12 at Mountain Valley High School, which will also include a hearing on proposed charter changes, and Oct. 14 in the Rumford Falls Auditorium.

Earlier in the day, Kiely spoke before the weekly Rotary Club meeting.

At that time, he said the company plans to begin holding a series of informational meetings with various groups to let people know the benefits of developing the ridges of Black Mountain and two adjacent mountains.

Kiely said that the ordinance, as proposed, would not allow his company to develop the tentatively planned project that calls for building 12 turbines in Rumford and seven in adjacent Roxbury on privately owned, leased land. That project would add about $65 million to the towns' tax value, he said.

The proposed ordinance, he said, is as restrictive as one developed in Dixmont that he said effectively banned wind project development.

At the Rotary meeting, he said First Wind uses a variety of scientific experts to study plants, wildlife, sound and other aspects of wind development. He said the company is also a good corporate citizen by supporting youth projects and scholarships, conservation efforts, and other socially positive activities.

He asked Rotarians to oppose the current proposed ordinance, then start over with the development of another ordinance.

Aniel, a Mexico resident, said at Monday's hearing that the 40 decibel limit for nighttime noise called for in the ordinance mirrors guidelines written in a State Planning Office document issued in 2000.

Later state regulations allow 45 decibels at night and 55 during the day.

Prior to Monday's hearing, one selectman said First Wind should have presented its perspective at a wind forum held last week which about 50 people attended, with the vast majority opposed to wind development.

Kiely said Monday night that his company did not receive the invitation until the day before the Tuesday event.

At the Rotary meeting, President Rich Allen said he has heard much publicity against wind development. He questioned whether the objections were widespread or confined to a small vocal group.

A spokeswoman for First Wind said Monday night that the company plans to present the benefits of wind turbine development at both the Oct. 12 and Oct. 14 meetings.

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 's picture


In Lincoln we were told we couldn't speak for more than two minutes. I guess the Town Council was coached by FirstWind's lawyers , so Rumford cirizens beware. The back room deals are well on the way. I hope enough on your council will not stand for the Boston politics and remember they should protect the citizens first. FirstCitizens not FirstWind. Please note the "science" FirstWind boasts of having done are skewed toward their desired result and so are not INDEPENDENT studies. The Lincoln permit notes there is bird and bat mortality, but it is "not unreasonable". They 'extrapolated" data from Rollins 1 to Rollins 2 ao as not to have to count the 4 eagles nests on Rollins 2. Sneaky, no? There are wetlands being filled in. That also is "not unreasonable", though they will pay a mitigation fee for doing it. The DEP and DIFW couldn't care less and rubber stamped everything. I guess when you are told if you do not play by the Gov's rules you will be terminated, it gets your attention. I have been told in confidence that many do not want or agree with windsprawl but jobs are so scarce now they do not dare to rock the boat. What a corrupt aligning of everything which will ruin the outdoors here in Maine. The only chance is for local ordinances unless they change those laws too. They are trying. Rumford, protect yourselves while you still are legally able and enact a tough ordinance. Let the greedy leasers whine, and the Boston Enronners take their shell companies back to the city. Thank you.

 's picture

oh, poor Kevin,

did he hurt your feelings?

Kevin Saisi's picture


not at all

Kevin Saisi's picture


It is sad that you feel so threatened by CandiceAnne's comments that you need to resort to personal attacks. Nobody deserves to be dubbed the village idiot. It is rude and insensitive.

 's picture

I guess before you make fun

I guess before you make fun of someone else's grammar you might want to check your own.

 's picture

If candiceann went out and

If candiceann went out and infected Tron with her flu, we would have to try and muster up some sympathy for him. On second thought, the sympathy would have to go to candiceann for getting close enough to him to infect him. ewwwwwww I feel sorry for her just thinking about it.

Fred Stone's picture

When this

comes up to a vote 75% of the people voting on it wont have a clue how to vote because they wont understand the ordinance, they will just vote based on what they are being told from either side of the issue.

 's picture

Conspiracy & Discrimination

Candiceanne has been harping on for months about her perspective that the proposed wind ordinance in Rumford is a conspiracy and today she claims the proposed ordinance discriminates against the wind industry. Well, le grippe has addled Candiceanne's brain, as she fails to realize that the entire wind industry as we know it in the USA is a conspiracy between the Enron Wind guys after Enron--remember Enron?--collapsed and major turbine component manufacturers like GE. They heavily lobbied Congress and state legislatures to create subsidies to support an industry that can't stand on its own in a free market. They masterfully co-opted the concerns about greenhouse gasses, global warming, climate change---choose your fright du jour---turning the useless wind turbine into a pop icon. That is conspiracy, not writing an ordinance to protect all citizens from a new and unique form of noise and health impacts from low frequency infrasound. Just ask the 18 people in Mars Hill who are suing First Wind about the need for protective ordinances.

Regarding discrimination, there is nothing more discriminatory in this state than the heinous Expedited Wind Permitting statute that sets aside normal environmental review, speeds up processes such that it curtails citizen participation, outright excludes visual impact, and relies on noise standards adopted more than 30 years ago which do not apply to industrial wind turbines (including no measure of dBC scale noise), and takes away local citizens' right to determine whether or not there should be industrial wind sites in their communities or how to appropriately site them. Given this, the wise communities enact wind turbine ordinances, the only sure way to protect the health and well being of all citizens. There are far too many politicians on every level who are too willing to say a portion of the citizens are expendable in order to welcome the scourge of the wind industry to their town. Sounds like a conspiracy, doesn't it?

Kevin Saisi's picture


I spent many hours this summer reading and understanding the 740+ page book Roberts Rules of Order. I also have a good comprehension of the Rumford Town Charter and the applicable Ordinances. At town meeting, I have all of these documents for reference if needed, as well as the competent guidance of our Town Attorney. At the last meeting, the only correction made to me personally is when I misread a date.

As they say on MSNBC; You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Kevin Saisi's picture

from not form

Sorry, that was a typo. Non-residents wishing to speak require permission of the voters present.

Kevin Saisi's picture


The "disagree" above only proves that some people will disagree with me regardless of what I say. The requirement that non-residents (non-member of the assembly) obtain approval to speak is not only part of Roberts Rules of Order, but also the way our town has been handling the issue since town meetings began. You may disagree with the policy, but the procedure is well established.


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