Rumford selectmen ready to begin writing third wind ordinance

RUMFORD — Selectmen set Thursday,  Aug. 11, as the first of what will likely be several meetings to devise a new wind power ordinance.

A special meeting set for 6 p.m. to appoint a town attorney for the year will immediately be followed by a workshop on the ordinance, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said.

At the board's regular meeting Thursday night, selectmen unanimously voted to use the proposed ordinance that was defeated at referendum in June as the template. Another proposed ordinance, defeated at referendum in November 2010, as well as ordinances from other municipalities will be used as references, Puiia said.

Public comment will be allowed at the beginning and end of the workshop, but not during the workshop itself. Also, the board would like comments put in writing, if possible, and left at the town office or at the beginning of the workshop.

Once the Board of Selectmen has a rough draft of an ordinance, expected within a few workshop sessions, the Planning Board will be included in future ordinance meetings.

The only exceptions to the ban on public comment during the workshop sessions will be if a special guest with additional information is invited to the session. This could include representatives from the State Planning Office, the Department of Environmental Protection or First Wind.

The Massachusetts wind development company has proposed construction of about a dozen industrial turbines on Black Mountain and two adjacent mountains.

The first defeated ordinance was believed by many to be too restrictive, while the second one was thought to be too liberal.

Puiia said the town would like to have a third proposal in place by the November elections, but that action is not mandatory. The town is currently has a moratorium on wind turbine construction until January 2012. It could be extended if necessary, Puiia said.

The Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments will likely review the proposed ordinance once it is completed. Then public hearings will be held prior to a vote by residents.

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Comments

 's picture

Frankie's problem

Frankie's problem is that anyone who speaks against him is wrong, he is very black & white in his position. Perhaps if he took time to actually read and understand what I have posted, he would not be so quick to attack a person who has supported him when others have not.

Recently I posted a comment regarding the tree issue of a few years ago. I commented that politics blew it way out of proportion. Frankie took this as an attack on him, and now has accused me of being on the "other side".

Well, MR. DICONZO, I don't join sides. I hold my own beliefs based upon the available facts. I make suggestions based upon what I believe to be the most prudent action for the town. So, you can take your accusations and political posturing about me and my positions and plant them in a conspicuous place, and see if they grow.

 's picture

wind jihad

There are many reasons so many people don't like wind power. It has not proven to reduce fossil fuel use or climate change. If the only case for windsprawl is jobs and making the developers rich, that is not acceptable. The workers should be rebuilding the Mem. Bridge before it falls into the Piscataqua River, but there is no money. There seems to be plenty for wind developers, at least on paper(an Enron trick). The developers couldn't care less about Maine, as long as the turbines are not in their backyard in Mass. Here in Lincoln, the turbines are bugging several nearby residents, as the INDUSTRIAL turbines are in a rural/residential zone. Quite unethical, but Rumford needs to consider that the developers , who are heavily lawyered, could get around any zoning if it is not ironclad. The industry is forcing the towns to enact strict zoning because they have proven they do not care about the Maine citizens who are nearby. Err on the side of caution. Every town was happier before bigwind came snooping around. Maine got along fine before wind turbines and we do not need them now. Maine is selling hydro power out of state,where they claim it as renewable. Why can't Maine claim it as such? Answer...because then there would be no case at all for wind turbines in Maine by the renewables crowd.

 's picture

Now, Frank

You really do little for your cause by evoking the words " NO GUTS " to describe fellow citizens, but setting your senility aside, what's really bothering you.

Dan/Steve/Kevin

The three amigoes who can't except progress in any way or form. Yes I've always been in favor if wind developement but not without written protections and benefits for the town. If those benefits are not written in from the beginning and the wind companies do not want to abide by them ,then that is when you become unfriendly and not before. But we cannot infringe on a land owners rights to lease his/her land for erection of towers on his/her property. The state has guidelines for developement and when these guidelines change then the wind companies must comply. The towns should be using it and adding what benefits it wants above and beyond the guidelines of the state. What is so hard about that? Kevin you have always flip flopped on issues in order to stir the pot on issues so stop playing both sides of the fence. dan, like you I speak my mind. My choice of words might not be liked by others but it makes a stronger point. If a person says they are going to do something, what ever it may be, then back down; then how would you categorize it? Windpower developement and RSU developement was done 1/2 a _ _ _d from the first place and the bottom line has and will cost the State of Maine in the long run. The basic formulas for both have not been worked out properly on the state level from day one and unfortunately the municipalities are left fighting amongst themselves instaed of working together for the better good.

 's picture

no flip-flop

Frank,
I don't flip-flop, I haven't taken a position on wind power. I stand for assuring that the procedure is as fair as possible for both sides. If you don't know that by now, you will never understand me.

Steve Bulger's picture

Dancing around the issue

Frank, you write as though wind power is a foregone conclusion and that ironing out the details is the only remaining problem. Please address the questions I raised: if Maine is a net producer of electricity, why does the state need wind towers and the environmental destruction that accompanies them; why isn't Angus building these things in western Mass. and upstate NY to feed the gluttons in southern New England and NY; what are the tangible benefits to River Valley residents from the placement of wind towers on the heretofore beautiful mountains in the area; how many "locals" will be employed during their construction and what happens to those workers after the job is done; how does wind power add prosperity to this depressed region? It appears that unless you own a piece of King's company, there are no REAL benefits to the placement of wind towers on area ridges with the accompanying scarring of the mountains, threats to wildlife and potential health problems for residents. Please put away your talking points and address the questions.

 's picture

As you are aware, Frank, I'm

As you are aware, Frank, I'm am completely against wind power use as a grid scale electrical producer. It's ineffective production has negative impact on the pursuit of prosperity as compared to tried and true conventional electrical generating methods. Suppressing energy demand by demonizing it's use and the current way we produce it only leads the government to legitimize " skyrocketing the costs " and successfully decreasing demand by increasing costs. The government also is finding this a new way to siphon money to itself. In a truly free market, increased demand creates ingenuity among the producers, delivering lower cost product by competition.
That said, you do bring up a good point. With the overwhelming power of government making it seem impossible to stop wind development in Rumford, then a chose needs to be made to allow or not to allow at the municipal level. I believe the concerns expressed about noise, visual, and property devaluation, as well as questionable longevity of such projects are valid by evidence revealed from currently installed developments. It is my opinion, by right of " Home Rule " , that each and every town can be successful in stopping these developments within their borders and, I hope, we can always have " Home Rule " The point is before beginning the process of writing an ordinance, an honest assessment of opinions among the authors needs to take place. Are you advocating authoring an ordinance to prevent development on the grounds of it's negative impacts or are you advocating authoring an ordinance that provides the best monetary benefit to the town's coffers ? If it's money that is the driving force, then say so and roll the dice to favor maximum benefits to the town. The townspeople can decide if the benefits outweigh the impacts. The ordinance writers will never be able to produce an ordinance everyone likes, but giving the public honest reasons why each and every one is persuaded to produce either a " pro-wind " or an " anti-wind " ordinance is why they elected these people.
It would seem to me, as you have said, the numbers say an " anti-wind " ordinance is in the making. So be it and the sooner the better. From there the public debate can proceed and, you, and all are invited to participate.

Steve Bulger's picture

What are the benefits?

Frank, perhaps you or some other "pro" could provide a list of the benefits derived from placing these monstrous machines on the pristine mountains surrounding the town. Are you going to receive free electricity? Ad infinitum lease payments? Business and job growth?
As I understand it, Maine is currently a net producer of electricity, which means that all of that wind power is going to be exported to power-hungry southern New England, New York and points south. If they are so badly in need, why not put up wind towers in western Mass. and upstate NY?
All you have to do is look at the destruction taking place on Record Hill to realize that maybe the vote of the Town of Roxbury wasn't the best idea.
If the River Valley and surrounding areas aren't receiving the power generated by those wind towers, why should they have to endure the decimation of one of the attractions of the region - its natural beauty?

Best of all

your comments and points are well made. Great questions are pointed out and this is where the state went wrong. But we as municipalities can change that. Do I like seeing all this production go else where? NO ! Can towns do something about it? YES! That's where we should be taking a stand.

 's picture

tax dollars

Your tax dollars are wasted on these big wind machines.
One Job.
TIFs everywhere.
Destruction of Ice-age eco-systems.
Red Strobing lights seen over 8 miles away.
No body sells property with-in sight of them.
Property values go down.
In one year the town will be wondering how to sell it self.

Stick with tourism, BMOM, the Falls, exttreme camping, rock climbing, rivers.

And maybe no sidewalks.

 's picture

Sorry Frank

I believe you have gone too far, you cannot prove everything you have said, it is merely your opinion, but you state it as fact. You imply that the anti-wind people have paid off three selectmen. That is an accusation, and could end you up in court. You need to be more careful what you say.

I don't agree that any of the Selectmen "don't care about your town". They could say that you don't care about it because you are willing to allow wind power to come to town unregulated. The difference is each persons perception of the impact of these towers. The anti-wind people see it as a threat from which they want to protect the town; and you see the blocking of wind power as a message to other business that Rumford is not business friendly. Regardless of who is right, and who is wrong, everyone is working toward what they perceive is in the best interest of the town, because they care for the town.

The BVL

the Buccina/Volkernic/Lovejoy Ordinance on wind will now be written to keep the antiwinders in their favor. These people really don't care about your town. When are the people going to realize this. The public ban for comments will only be against people in favor of wind. tHAT'S WHY THESE PEOPLE DON'T GO TO THESE SESSIONS. The anti winders have always had free reigns and will continue to have with BVL majority. The State has what it takes to monitor wind developement . The wind companies will be mandated to follow any changes that are developed. This is a continued waste of time. Let the people vote for the states version and no doubt it will pass. But that won't happen because the anti winders have the BVL controlling the board and in their back pocket. Keep sending the word out to all the country BVL that, RUMFORD IS CLOSED FOR BUSINESS. wHEN ARE THOSE CHICKEN LAND OWNERS GOING TO STEP UP AND CLOSE OFF THEIR LANDS? gUESS YOU'RE IN THE ANTI WINDERS BACK POCKET ALSO. mORE WITH NO GUTS JUST HOT AIR!

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