Public hearing on Dixfield wind ordinance set for Wednesday

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DIXFIELD — A public hearing to discuss an amended draft of the town’s Wind Energy Facility Ordinance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the Dirigo High School Community Room.

Residents will vote on the ordinance at the polls Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., approached Dixfield officials three years ago about constructing 13 wind turbines on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridge. The corporation has been conducting research on the ridge, including wind tests, bird studies and environmental impact studies.

The ordinance was approved in 2012, but the Board of Selectmen voted to place it before the Planning Board at the beginning of 2013 to make it stronger. After a year and a half of revisions and discussions, the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen met in August to discuss final amendments.

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Among the changes selectmen approved were increasing the setback for for a wind turbine from a nonparticipating parcel’s property from 2,000 feet to 4,000 feet.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said the board voted to increase the amount of money Patriot Renewables would deposit in an escrow account from $2,000 per tower to $4,000 per tower.

“With $2,000, the moment that the board spent any money from that account to deal with compliance issues, they would immediately have to replace it,” Puiia said. “With $4,000, they wouldn’t have to replace the money every time they spent it.”

The board also agreed to approve amendments on decommissioning and permit fees.

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

 

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