Proposed Dixfield wind ordinance up for public heairng

 DIXFIELD — Residents will have a chance at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, to comment on a proposed Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.

The public hearing takes place in the community room of Dirigo High School.

The ordinance was devised by Selectmen Norine Clarke and Steve Donahue using similar ordinances from other towns, as well as applying specific needs for Dixfield.

Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass. has proposed building about a dozen turbines on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridgeline. The project is named TimberWinds.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said questions and comments will be taken from the floor.

Selectmen will then take those comments and decide what the next steps would be, if any.

Residents will vote on the document from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 12 at the American Legion.

The 30-page proposed ordinance stipulates turbines must be 4,000 feet from property lines and regulates the level of noise allowed during daytime and nighttime hours, and plans for decommissioning and land restoration once the life development ceases operation.

Skibitsky said the ordinance has been reviewed by the town's attorney, and few changes were made since the last time voters considered a wind turbine ordinance. He said the level of decibels has been reduced to 42 during the nighttime hours, down from 45. This change reflects the same reduction recently modified by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The allowable daytime decibels is 55.

He said the ordinance was created to give the town some local regulation. If it is turned down, then the proposed project could still go ahead under the more generic regulations of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Some have objected to the establishment of a wind turbine project, citing noise and flicker effects, and the changes it would make to the ridgeline's scenery.

Skibitsky said he expects the project to be challenged in court once it receives DEP approval.

Because of that, he said construction likely will not begin until 2015. He said Patriot Renewables is expected to submit its application to the DEP by the end of this year or early next. It would then take about a year for review and approval.

He called the town's proposed ordinance neutral, fair and balanced.

The selectmen realize what a good project this is. It will stabilize the tax base and a lot of good would benefit the majority of people,” he said.

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Comments

 's picture

not so fast

The selectmen may think the new money will do wonders, but what happens when the turbines are depreciated? Or shut own? The town will be saddled with new equipment they cannot afford and taxes will have to go up. Lincoln used part of the TIF money to hire a detective with benefits. What next, a SWAT team or K9 unit? Who pays for it when the easy money dries up? Joe Taxpayer. Let's say the turbines are shut down. There is supposed to be a bond to pay for the removal and clean up, but say the company changes hands several times, shell companies disappear, and the town has to hire a team of lawyers to figure out who pays. There is not enough money for the court costs which drags on for years, and the whole thing is dropped because it is too expensive to pursue. The wind cartel will laugh all the way to their Swiss bank. The turbines will be litter on the mtns. like in Altamont Pass. Just say NO to the turbine huggers.

 's picture

What is a 'Heairng'?

There's a big difference between a property line and a dwelling when it comes to set backs in wind ordinances.

Get it right, selectmen. You won't get a second chance, but you will get lawsuits if you mess this up. You are doubling the noise rural residents will hear at night and you are messing big time with their property values. Residents, you must protect yourselves. The wind developers certainly aren't going to.

Kibby's turbines are brand new and already broken down. Get the decommissioning money up front, paid in full, before the project starts and the wind developer declares bankruptcy.

Hart Daley's picture

Arrogance or Disconcern?

It sounds like Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky has made up his mind what he wants to do, regardless of how the townspeople vote:

Selectmen will then take those comments and decide what the next steps would be, IF ANY.

The 30-page proposed ordinance stipulates turbines must be 4,000 feet from PROPERTY LINES and regulates the level of noise allowed during daytime and nighttime hours, and plans for decommissioning and land restoration once the life development ceases operation.

Skibitsky said the ordinance has been reviewed by the town's attorney, and few changes were made since the last time voters considered a wind turbine ordinance. He said the level of decibels has been reduced to 42 during the nighttime hours, down from 45. This change reflects the same reduction recently modified by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The allowable daytime decibels is 55. TOO LENIENT!

He said the ordinance was created to give the town some local regulation. If it is turned down, then the proposed project could still go ahead under the more generic regulations of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. THE ORDINANCE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED TO ALLOW RESIDENTS TO VOTE AGAINST WIND POWER. CURRENTLY THE CLARK/DONAHUE ORDINANCE OR DEP ORDINANCE WOULD PERMIT CONSTRUCTION.

Some (HUNDREDS) have objected to the establishment of a wind turbine project, citing noise and flicker effects, and the changes it would make to the ridgeline's scenery.

Skibitsky said he expects the project to be challenged in court once it receives DEP approval.SOUNDS LIKE SKIBITSKY IS GOING TO PUSH THIS THROUGH NO MATTER WHAT. HE IS ASSUMING THE ORDINANCE WILL GO FORWARD "AS IS" WITHOUT APPROPRIATE CHANGES.

Because of that, he said construction likely will not begin until 2015. (AGAIN SOUNDS LIKE HE ASSUMES THE DECISION IS ALREADY MADE) He said Patriot Renewables is expected to submit its application to the DEP by the end of this year or early next. It would then take about a year for review and approval.

He called the town's proposed ordinance neutral, fair and balanced. (IT IS ACTUALLY BIASED, DISCRIMINATORY, UNBALANCED AND PROMOTES ZONING)

“The selectmen realize what a good project this is. It will stabilize the tax base and a lot of good would benefit the majority of people,” he said. (INDUSTRIAL WIND WILL ONLY BENEFIT / PROFIT A FEW AND ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT STABILIZE THE TAX BASE. THE SELECTMEN AND TM HAVE LISTENED TO ONE SOURCE..PATRIOT RENEWABLE'S TOM CARROLL AND AN ATTORNEY WHO SUPPORTS WIND POWER - LEE BRAGG)

 's picture

Translation please

A few land owners will make a lot of money, the developers will make lots of money mainly from taxpayer subsidies, the majority of Dixfield residents will get screwed and those that live within 2 miles of the towers will eventually move their poperty worthless, while the quality of life suffers for all residents and tourists, and wildlife will die and move too.

 's picture

The Sun Journal prints: "The

The Sun Journal prints:

"The 30-page proposed ordinance stipulates turbines must be 4,000 feet from property lines . "

yet in the ordinance

11.1 All WEFUs shall be set back a horizontal distance of four thousand (4,000’) feet from
any Occupied Building in Dixfield,

http://www.dixfield.org/assets/pdfs/2012/Windmillfacility%20ordinance%20...

There is so many clarifications required from this process.

I will bring sound modeling maps to this PUBLIC hearing and let the citizen decide.

alice mckay barnett

 's picture

The headlines from the Sun

The headlines from the Sun Journal of October 27, 2010 reads :

Wind ordinance ballot question withdrawn

“DIXFIELD — In a last-minute decision Monday night, selectmen unanimously voted to remove a wind-power ordinance question from next week's ballot.”

“Rather than have people vote on something that is unclear, we would rather withdraw it and be able to clarify it at a later time,” Clarke said.

Clarke’s reason for withdrawing was because Tom Carroll had pointed out that wording in the ordinance could prevent the project from taking place. ( select board meeting, Oct 24,2010 )

Clearly, the board wants an ordinance that will allow a wind development on Colonel Holman Mountain.

This is an illogical and unjust maneuver aimed to catch the voters off-guard.

Illogical because those who want to allow the wind project will most likely vote to enact this ordinance, but those who don’t want to allow the wind project, even with a vote against this ordinance, will accomplishe nothing to prevent the project, as the permitting for such a project will, then, fall into the hands of the DEP, whose lenient regulations has never brought denial to any wind project.

Unjust because it gives the voting public no choice. Whether your vote is for the ordinance or against the ordinance, there is no way to stop the project.

Dixfield voters are entitled to have a choice and this can be accomplished by attending the hearing and demanding the ordinance proposed by Clarke/Donahue be “tweaked” to replace it’s leniency with a more responsible setbacks, as over twenty or more towns throughout Maine have done.

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