Info sessions on wind turbines scheduled

DIXFIELD — Opponents of the proposed wind turbine facility said Wednesday night that they are planning an informational session for next week that will show how turbines appear from the air.

Dan McKay and Fremont Tibbetts were the only two people attending the town's second public hearing on proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments that would be aligned with the proposed Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.

Voters will decide the fate of both the proposed wind ordinance and Comprehensive Plan amendments during the general election on Nov. 2. Voters will also decide whether to ban wind development townwide on another ballot question submitted by Tibbetts and McKay. That petition-forced question would also ban virtually all other development starting at 1,000 feet elevation, as well.

The amendments essentially ban wind turbine construction in the western section of town, which includes Holman and Sugarloaf mountains, and allows such development in the eastern section which includes the Colonel Holman Mountain ridge. The ridge is the location of a planned 13-turbine development by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., on leased land.

The proposed wind ordinance calls for a minimum setback of 4,000 feet from occupied residences, and sets decibel levels at 45 at night and 55 during the day.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said John Maloney of Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments devised the Comprehensive Plan amendments after reviewing the proposed wind ordinance.

The proposed amendments protect the scenic area of Holman and Sugarloaf mountains from turbine construction, but everything else would be considered on a case-by-case basis, Skibitsky said.

McKay said wind-turbine development has been approached on a town-by-town basis, which means some may not see the overall impact such development could make. Plans for wind turbine developments are in varying stages in Carthage, Rumford, Canton, Roxbury and Woodstock as well.

“Other towns will also see them,” McKay said.

Tibbetts, who flew over existing turbines on Kibby Mountain in Franklin County, said such development is “making people big money that are putting them up.”

“No one will realize what we have as a jewel in this area,” he said.

Board Chairman Bettina Martin said the town started talking about windmills more than a year ago.

“The people in the town have to decide what they want. We want an ordinance passed that will protect the town,” she said.

McKay said a meeting to show the appearance of wind turbines from the air has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 27, at a place to be determined.

Tom Carroll of Patriot Renewables, has planned a public informational session for Thursday, Oct. 28, at a place to be determined.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

imagine

Imagine Maine with 2000 plus turbines covering the landscape. I can't. The greedy developers do not care about Maine people, our towns, the environment or anything except making big bucks. Then they will go somewhere else and bribe for TIFs and tax breaks and keep scamming tax dollars. Can someone stop this?

Brad Blake's picture

Turbineland?

I hope folks in Dixfield treasure that the mountains like Holman and Sugarloaf define the beauty of the town. It is worth preserving, not throwing away to the stark bristle of 40 story wind turbines on the mountains surrounding the town. I hope the citizens of Dixfield feel enough of a sense of community to say no people in the town should be subjected to the ravages of living with wind turbine audible noise and the deleterious effects of low frequency infrasound from these industrial machines. Patriot Renewables care nothing about the wellbeing of Dixfield residents. All they care about is getting a tower up so the taxpayers' money can flow to them. And should the spigot of subsidy shut off, they walk away from the project

The sheer number of proposed turbines on so many ridges in the western mountains around Dixfield will transform the area. Though some may struggle economically, people choose to live in the area rather than move because they love the surroundings and their family and familiar community is here, in Dixfield and the surrounding towns.
Please don't throw that away. Keep the area from becoming Turbineland.

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