Dixfield residents air views on wind ordinance

Eileen M. Adams/Sun Journal

Dixfield resident Alice Barnett points out property lines and transmission lines from a proposed wind farm during Wednesday's public hearing on a wind ordinance in Dixfield.

DIXFIELD — Selectmen heard a variety of complaints against a proposed wind ordinance, as well as a few comments of support, at a public hearing Wednesday night at which nearly 75 residents attended.

The board will take the dozens of comments and recommendations presented and hold a workshop to decide whether any will be included in the document that will go before voters during the June 12 elections.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said the project, valued at about $60 million, would bring more than a half-million dollars a year into the town coffers.

The wind farm, proposed by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., would include about a dozen industrial wind turbines built along the Colonel Holman Mountain ridgeline. If built, its value would be more than a quarter of the town's value right now. Skibitsky said the most recent state valuation sets that figure at $155 million, which is slightly less than in the past.

Many at the hearing, however, believe such development would devalue property, destroy the environment of the ridgeline, cause unhealthy levels of noise and take away the beauty of that part of town.

Scott Belskis and Hart Daley, both avid opponents of the project and candidates for selectmen, voiced many concerns.

If you give them the $60 million project, they'll ask for a tax break,” Belskis said.

He also questioned how the construction of wind turbines in remote locations would affect the fire department.

Where's the cash for that?” he asked.

Selectman Norine Clarke, one of the authors of the town's proposed ordinance, said the project's owner would be required to pay any expenses generated by the wind farm.

Daley wants a reduction in the allowable decibel level during nighttime hours from 42 to 35 and from 55 to 42 during the day.

That would still exceed the quiet rural level,” he said.

Patriot Renewables Project Manager, Tom Carroll, said that change, as well as several others suggested by residents, would drive out the project.

Daley also called for a chance for voters to decide whether or not they want any type of industrial wind project.

Under the proposed ordinance, selectmen have said that they wanted to have some local control, rather than rely entirely on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's regulations for wind projects.

Selectman Katherine Harvey also said that the ordinance was intended to protect Dixfield residents.

As it stands now, if the current locally devised ordinance is voted down, then the project could still go ahead under the DEP regulations.

Not everyone opposed the wind project, including East Dixfield resident Dick Hall.

I'd like to have them put some on my farm,” he said.

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Comments

 's picture

we will leave

if the ordinance is too restrictive...Tom Carroll said...."We will leave."

Clark/Donahue ordinance has a set back of 4000 feet from an occupied home. 11.1

Dixfield's code enforcement officer did the leg work and searched deeds and land and reported back to committee on how many property owners needed to be bought out.

Patriot's renewable loved it....

Any ordinance should have at least a one mile set-back to property lines because sound modeling maps show 35-45 dBA at one mile. 35 dBA exceeds the quiet rural area.of the common road. Complaints from neighbors of other IWF are from miles away.

In Dixfield's case, one mile set-back will include more property owners. Now the decision is not laid in four people's hands.

Hart Daley's picture

May I buy your soul?

I am saddened to hear that a few people / landowners, through greed or desperation have chosen to sell out the heritage and beauty of Dixfield and their neighbors quality of life for a few thousand dollars. In the wind ordinance hearing held in Dixfield on Wednesday night, Patriot Renewable representative, Tom Carroll stated to the audience, "I don't have horns, a pitch fork and a tail" describing lucifer. It may have been said in different words to Common Road residents, Mike Hebert or Peter Holman or too Thorndike Corp or many other people and entities who accepted bribes and financial promise from Patriot Renewable but even the bible condemns those who "sell their soul for man's worldly possessions". Is it all worth it? Please reconsider your position it is NOT TOO LATE.

Alan Michka's picture

Selling off Dixfield's quality of place

Daley wants a reduction in the allowable decibel level during nighttime hours from 42 to 35 and from 55 to 42 during the day. “That would still exceed the quiet rural level,” he said. Patriot Renewables Project Manager, Tom Carroll, said that change, as well as several others suggested by residents, would drive out the project.

Mr. Daley, the town wants to sell your right to enjoy the peace and quiet of rural Maine to Patriot Renewables. It's as simple as that.

 's picture

No turbines for ME

Mr. Hall...please check www.windtaskforce.org for the story of a Wisconsin farmers' experience with turbines on his farm. You may find it interesting.

 's picture

???

Remember in Oakfield smaller turbines were approved by the DEP then presto change o, bigger ones suddenly appeared. Funny how that happens once the permit is granted. Residents over 2 miles from the Rollins turbines are reporting odd sensations and noise. The infrasound is what people are feeling, and many do not even know what it is. There are reports from farmers who claim their livestock are affected and regret having the turbines on their property in New York. I encourage the selectmen and women to disregard the pro wind propaganda and do your own research. I am sure some have, but these industrial scale scrap heaps are not clean nor green and cannot repay their own carbon debt which is incurred from digging the ores to transportation to final setting up on a scalped mtn. top. A lot of coal is burned to build them and a lot of fuel is burned to ship them here from China, 1 gallon of diesel per foot of ocean. No wonder the more turbines are built the higher the C02 levels rise. Industrialization accelerated climate change and we will not solve the problem with more of what got us here in the first place.

 's picture

The wind industry has quite

The wind industry has quite effectively brainwashed ("greenwashed") the average American, but more and more are waking up to the lack of science based proof that industrial wind will save this planet. Wake up faster, people. This industry doesn't pack much real power, except the power to bankrupt Maine. Protect yourselves, protect your neighbors, protect your quality of life. Just say "NO!" to this farce.

 's picture

Is enticement of the

Is enticement of the appearence of easy money so overwhelming to this select board, that they can't hear their people anymore. A good 60 people out of the 75 attending this hearing wanted a more protective ordinance than offered by the select board and wanted it done so it could be voted on June 12th.
Buying into this wind to electrcity idea is risky, economically. To think that covering the landscape with enough of these machines will bring prosperity to us all is simply the same menality used to sell sub prime mortgages so that it seemed everyone could afford a house. Falling for this wind scam now because the money looks great will only lead to pay back of huge porportions later as the concept of wind to electricity fails, one wind turbine at a time.

 's picture

yellow on map

see all the yellow squares? They are property owners against the proposed WIND project in Dixfield. I colored in at 1000 more acres last night. Thank You citizens of the Common, Canton Point, Severy Hill area. I know it was one more meeting when nothing got done. Don't give up.

Hart Daley's picture

5 Minutes - More Info

Dixfield residents were limited to 5 minutes for speaking opportunities, which I understand due to time constraints, however more information should have been aired.

TM Skibitsky kept refering to a $60 Million dollar project, however Tom Carroll of Patriot Renewable told me that they were proposing a $40 million dollar / 20 (mw) project which would be in the form of (10) 2 mw turbines or (8) 2.5 mw turbines.

Patriot Renewable and the ordinance assure safety in close proximity to the proposed turbines, yet Patriot Renewable's MET test tower "fell apart" to the forest floor recently and has been removed!

Norinne Clark; Selectmen stated she wanted the industrial wind facility because it is "clean and green" basically quoting what she has been told by the wind company because if true research was done she would realize the "real" environmental negative impact, the fact that CO2 levels WILL NOT be reduced, the fact that wind energy is the most expensive and least efficient form of energy and that wind energy due to it's intermittence and unreliability, RELIES HEAVILY on fossil fuel back up...just to name a few.

Norinne Clark also told the audience there would be NO RESTRICTED ACCESS, however Tom Carroll; Patriot Renewable stated there would be restricted access to the road and at least 50 feet on either side of the road. At the meeting Tom Carroll stated due to OSHA regulations there would be "some" restricted access.

In all fairness, NO APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED FOR DIXFIELD AT THIS TIME, so they can not give specifics as to exactly where the proposed turbines would be placed.

What the town would receive in regards to financial benefit, or tax base stabilization, or clarification of whether or not to accept a TIF, or how our electric rates would be effected were all left "UNCLEAR and UNRESOLVED"

There was barely any discussion about the destruction that would be caused by the creation of transmission lines, another tax payer funded costly venture.

There will be a reduction in property values for people living within (2) miles of any proposed or constructed industrial wind project. Simply stated if you want to buy an old historic farmhouse (mine) with a wilderness setting, would you buy one sitting in a wide open field with beautiful mountain views OR would you buy one sitting in a wide open field overshadowed by industrial wind turbines? Please let's be realistic!

By the way, no FREE electricity and (1 or 2) IF ANY permanent jobs attached to this proposal.

I couldn't get all of this information in within the allotted (5) minutes.

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