Wind energy firm officials to attend June 17 meeting

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RUMFORD — Selectmen learned Thursday night that officials from First Wind LLC will make a presentation to the board at its June 17 meeting.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said the Newton, Mass., firm also told him that a public hearing on the company’s proposal will likely be held in late July or early August.

The wind energy developer came before the board with a tentative plan last year to construct wind towers on Black Mountain and adjacent North and South Twin mountains.

The intensity of the wind blowing on Black Mountain and North and South Twin mountains was found to be very high and could pose a problem for the construction of wind turbines, a First Wind spokesman told residents at a selectmen’s meeting last November.

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Since then, the town enacted a moratorium on windmills then extended the original moratorium for an additional six months so that the Wind Power Advisory Committee would have sufficient time to develop an ordinance to cover such development.

Tentative plans now call for public action on a proposed wind power ordinance at the November general election.

If First Wind is eventually successful with a plan to construct a wind farm on Rumford peaks, it would join Patriot Renewables of Quincy, Mass., and Record Hill LLC, whose principals include include former Maine Public Broadcasting Network President Robert Gardiner and former Maine Gov. Angus King, with wind projects planned in the River Valley area.

Prior to the board’s regular meeting Thursday, a public hearing on the town meeting warrant was held with few comments made by the 30 residents attending.

Selectmen have recommended a $7,463,986 municipal budget for 2010-11, which if approved by residents would be about 1.2 percent higher than the current year’s budget. The Finance Committee’s recommendations came in at about 1 percent less than the current $7,371,125 operating budget.

Residents will adopt a new budget through a referendum vote on 42 articles at the June 8 election. Townspeople will also act on several new ordinances or ordinance amendments at that time.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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