Wind moratorium extension on agenda for Dixfield selectmen at Aug. 10 meeting

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DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on whether to extend the town’s moratorium on wind development for another 180 days prior to its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Aug. 10.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the basement of the Ludden Memorial Library.

The moratorium is due to expire on Aug. 15, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said.

“The moratorium was originally passed by the legislative body at a town meeting,” Puiia said. “The board has the authority to extend it 180 days, and they’re allowed to do so by a vote, provided they hold a public hearing first.”

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Puiia said the public hearing will be held at the start of the meeting, and the vote to extend the moratorium will take place later in the evening.

Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., approached Dixfield officials five years ago about constructing wind turbines on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridge. The town has been working on regulations to govern such developments.

In November 2012, voters approved a wind ordinance drafted by Norine Clarke and Stephen Donahue, who served on the Board of Selectmen at the time.

In early 2013, selectmen voted to send the draft to the Planning Board and tasked them with amending some of the language.

Residents rejected an amended version of the Planning Board’s draft in November 2014, and as a result, the Board of Selectmen voted to place the Planning Board’s original draft before residents in June.

The draft was defeated 359-390 during a June 9 referendum vote.

mdaigle@sunmediagroup.net

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