Temple considers wind energy moratorium

TEMPLE — Voters will decide on a wind energy moratorium at their March 7 town meeting. The moratorium would give the town time to prepare an ordinance to cover any potential development of wind farm projects.

A committee of about a dozen residents formed Monday to discuss how to handle potential future projects in a way that best protects the town. During a special town meeting in December, residents approved the formation of the committee to develop a wind power ordinance, said Robert Kimber, who chaired the meeting.

There is no specific plan but some interest has been shown in what could be  development of a wind power project, he said. Town maps have been purchased by a Chicago-area firm with interest in the ridge from Varnum Mountain north, including Derby, Dean, Center Hill in Temple, and Wilder, an area that runs close to Mt. Blue, Kimber said.

“We may be putting the cart before the horse, but there may be interest," he said. "We don’t have the power to stop wind projects, but we do have the power to guide it.”

“The ordinance would be set up to protect people from the impacts of the project,” First Selectman Kathleen Lynch said.

Kimber outlined some of those impacts, including noise, views, vibration, the flicker effect or when sun shining through the blades creates a spinning shadow that can make you dizzy, he said.

Jo Josephson urged the committee to look also at the good side of wind projects, including a change in the tax base and green energy.

“What if three-quarters of the town wants wind energy? Part of our job is getting a sense of what people think,” Selectman George Blodgett said.

The town needs a framework and some control, even if it supports the project, William Hodgkins said. The project would be visible and would have an impact on the community, he said.

The committee discussed creating a flier with "frequently asked" questions and answers similar to one done by the town of Montville, Maine, which was researched and shared by Josephson.

The committee also agreed to put a moratorium article on the warrant for the March town meeting.

A moratorium is a holding action, a time when nothing can be done on the property while the town decides “these are the conditions under which they can operate,” Josephson said. The moratorium, usually a six-month period, can be extended by an additional six months.

“The moratorium is not a ban on development. It’s a step to figure out the best interests of the town,” Josephson said.

One resident said committee members should take the time to talk with the property owners, most of whom are not Temple residents but who have allowed all types of recreational activity, including hunting and fishing, on their land.

The committee agreed to invite the nearly half-dozen potentially affected landowners to their next meeting when they will review the moratorium article for the town meeting warrant and a draft of an informational flier to help townspeople learn about the moratorium and the wind projects.

The next meeting is planned for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, at the Town Office. It will be open to the public.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Please Protect Temple!

People of Temple and other towns, I implore you, take the time via a moratorium to let everyone in town find out more about industrial wind. In every town where there has been a moratorium and time for research, information sharing, and debate happens, the truth about industrial wind comes out and the towns, like Montville, Jackson, Dixmont, Buckfield put in place guidelines that protect the interests of the residents of the community. Do not succumb to the relentless propaganda of the wind industry and allow your community to be ruined.

I know how destructive an industrial wind site is and the devastation of your local natural resources and the quality of place of your town is far worse than any of the reputed (and over-hyped) benefits of wind power. I am from Lincoln, where First Wind's Rollins Project will have 40 turbines, each 389 feet tall sprawled across more than 7 miles of ridges and more than 1,000 acres permanently clearcut. These ridges are blasted away and scalped. Go here to view photos from last November. https://picasaweb.google.com/Blueyes1119/RollinsConstructionNov72010 and https://picasaweb.google.com/Blueyes1119/RollinsDestructionNov2 For more information about industrial wind development in Maine from the citizens' perspective, visit www.windtaskforce.org

 's picture

talk to property owners

before the wind company. make sure you include everyone with-in a mile.
Do not forget property with-in 2 miles will be devalued. In 15 years, turbines value is gone.

 's picture

There are only 6 potential affected landowners?

Really? Within a mile of those mountains? That doesn't sound right to me. There are people in Wilton who would probably be affected. Jo Josephson, industrial wind is not green. It is an industrial development on mountain ridges and mountaintops that are ruining the beauty in Maine. But I am not surprised you are pushing it. It's kind of your MO. You clearly listened to something Obama or Gore said and think you know. Take some time to educate yourself.

Location, location, location. The siting of turbines on mountaintops is poor siting with far-reaching consequences.

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