Wilton to consider next steps in CMP support

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WILTON — Selectperson Tom Saviello told fellow board members Thursday that even though some towns have pulled support for Central Maine Power Co.’s New England Clean Energy Connect project, he thinks it will get state permits.

The $950 million project involves building a 145-mile transmission line to deliver power generated by Hydro-Quebec in Quebec to users in Massachusetts. The line through Maine would begin in Beattie Township in Franklin County and extend east and south into Somerset, Androscoggin and Cumberland counties.

In October, the board voted to file a petition with the Public Utilities Commission to intervene in the project. If granted, Wilton will have a seat at the table in any decisions, any requests, any filings that are made in proceedings.

Saviello said “The Sportsman Alliance of Maine has removed its endorsement. Now they are neither for nor against the project.”

He said the towns of Caratunk and The Forks have removed support for the project, but Jay selectpersons voted Monday to continue to support the project despite a petition from residents asking them to remove their support.

“I have learned Gov. Paul LePage and others on his staff knew about the project and the lack of benefits for Maine,” Saviello said.

“The Public Utilities Commission has been overwhelmed with letters against the project,” Saviello said. “Most only say they don’t like CMP or the project. The letters really need to have concrete reasons why.”

The PUC decision-making hearing scheduled for December has been postponed until March, he said.

“Long-term, I think CMP will get permits they need,” Saviello added.

Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri suggested it was time to consider if the town would continue to support the project. Even though the town has filed as an intervenor, it has not rescinded its initial support of the project, she said.

The board agreed to discuss the issue at its next meeting.

“We might not have any action but we can have a conversation,” Saviello said.

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