Woodstock defeats wind power moratorium

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WOODSTOCK — With 150 people in attendance Monday, voters turned down a request for a six-month moratorium on wind power development in the town.

The request was presented as an article in the meeting warrant by Leona Bellwebber who felt people needed more time to consider the benefits of such development.

Bellwebber was referring to a wind farm on Spruce Mountain planned for construction this coming summer.

Referring to the request, Town Manager Vern Maxfield said, “Mrs. Bellwebber did a good job presenting the issue. She has done her homework well in developing and gathering signatures on her petition and presented good facts about the pros and cons. But a strong majority of voters felt the project this summer should goon as planned.”

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The vote to on the article was 41 in favor and 100 against. There also was little discussion as people seemed to have made up their minds in advance following a public hearing last week.

Prior to the wind power vote, the annual municipal elections were held with four incumbents returned to office for new three-year terms.

Ronald Deegan, running unopposed, was given another term as selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor. Julie Davis defeated former selectman Steve Bies for a new term on the Board of Directors for SAD 44 winning by a vote of 73 to 43. And Whitman Memorial Library trustees Marta Clements and Jane Mills were re-elected, running unopposed.

In other business, the voters approved a 2010 budget of $2,149,764, which will be reduced by $410,142 by the use of revenues and surplus funds. In the end, the town will probably see a $73,772 increase from the budget approved in 2009 with the majority of the increase being due to state cuts in education funding for SAD 44, Maxfield said.

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