Wind ordinance blows down in Rumford

RUMFORD — A proposed wind energy ordinance widely believed to essentially ban such development, went down to defeat by an unofficial vote of 1,033 to 1,328.

First Wind LLC, Boston, Mass., has proposed construction of up to 12 turbines at a cost of about $60 million on Black Mountain, and adjacent North and South Twin mountains.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said he believed the majority of people were concerned that the ordinance was too restrictive, and that the ballot question may have been confusing to some.

“My concern from the beginning was regulation, to regulate but not to prohibit,” he said.

He said he and the board will have to formulate a process that would address any wind development.

He said the Wind Committee's job was done when they passed in the proposed ordinance. The current moratorium expires at the end of this month, as well.

“The selectmen will look to the Planning Board and to Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments for some guidance,” he said.

Wind Committee members may also participate.

Selectmen meet Thursday.

Len Greaney, a member of the committee that developed the ordinance, said he was not surprised at the results of the vote.

“A lot of people live farther away and believe (the development) will help us a little financially,” Greaney said.

This is the second time Rumford voters have shown interest in wind development. Two years ago, the town voted 751-364 in favor of wind projects.

“We are grateful the residents of Rumford were willing to keep the conversation going in regards to wind development in town,” said Neil Kiely of First Wind in a news release. “We are hopeful the Select Board will work toward crafting a new ordinance and we look forward to cooperating with the Select Board as the process moves forward.”

First Wind has no other local projects in the offing, but does operate three in Mars Hill and Stetson, is constructing one in Lincoln, and is in the later stages of development in the town of Oakfield.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Boycott L/A

To my fellow Oxford County and Franklin County Residents,
We in Oxford and Franklin Counties appreciate the business our neighbors bring our way and we reciprocate at every opportunity, unlike say the folks in Lewiston and Auburn where the vote was NO on the Oxford Casino after all our years of patronage of L/A businesses, services and professionals. A movement has begun to boycott all L/A businesses, services and professionals by Oxford and Franklin County residents because L/A has shown that they are nothing but ungrateful and greedy, with no goodwill towards their patrons despite the fact that Androscoggin County will receive millions of dollars each year from the casino.
It is my sincerest hope that you will join with those of us who are fed up with supporting an ungrateful multitude of L/A businesses, services, and professionals along with their employees and government entities and take your business elsewhere. We would recommend shopping locally first of course, when go elsewhere we recommend New Hampshire where there is no sales tax, great outlets, restaurants, theaters, and shopping opportunities. We recommend taking those medical needs you have been taking to L/A to Portland where the hospitals and physicians are not only better but more appreciative of our patronage.
Next year when the L/A Casino initiative appears on the ballot let’s remember how we were treated and all the objections as to infrastructure etc. that were raised that apply even more so to the proposed L/A site. Certainly the lack of infrastructure applies to L/A far more than Oxford and L/A does not have the neighborliness to address fire or law enforcement, roads are certainly not going to be addressed. We should remember to vote NO on the L/A request and spare them the anguish or congested roads and the other problems. In the meantime boycott L/A.

 's picture

split vote; split town

The one thing you can count on is that a closely divided vote on an issue like this will most certainly keep the town divided for years to come. Rumford should have learned from Roxbury. No issue that divides a town should move forward. Let's see who truly benefits from this.....and make sure to write down the names of the people representing the developers so you'll know who to call when you get shafted on on the empty promises these greedy bastards make....again, just ask the people of Roxbury how many got offered a job when Independence broke ground on Record Hill...ZERO!
One last thing, just remember, once you allow in 20 towers you have ZERO chance of stopping Iberdrola of erecting 300! I will be the first one to laugh in your faces when they cover Whitecap Mountain with wind towers. Good job millbillies!

 's picture

wind

"A lot of people live farther away and believe (the development) will help us a little financially,” Greaney said. what doess that mean only Rumford residents voted on this and it will benefit us financially that statement alone tells you how out of touch the fromer town manager is

Job Done

Mr. Puiia you stated the Wind Committees job is done. You want to let them participate again. Think again. It's up to the Select persons and you to now work with Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and First Wind to develop whats the best wind ordinance that will benefit the town of Rumford. Anti wind people participating would throw a monkey wrench into a positive worthwhile ordinace for our town.

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