BUCKFIELD — Selectmen on Tuesday learned of a citizens’ petition calling for a 180-day moratorium on wind power development in town.

Kirk Nadeau, president of Kean Engineering of Turner, has proposed erecting three, 1.5 megawatt turbines on Streaked Mountain but said he will not proceed without the town’s support.

James Parker, who is gathering signatures to bring the petition to selectmen, and ultimately to townspeople for a vote, said the full impact of a wind facility has not been explored. He said the town has a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents, and he recommends having at least 180 days to develop and implement an ordinance to regulate wind projects.

The Planning Board is also recommending a 180-day moratorium on wind power development so it can study the issue and consider an ordinance on such projects.

A draft of an ordinance was reviewed Tuesday, and Selectman Chip Richardson asked why it recommends wind turbines be located a mile from any dwelling.

Planning Board Chairman Warren Wright said it was based on an ordinance from Wisconsin.

He said Buckfield residents were told by Nadeau that the sound would be similar to a refrigerator.

Wright said he and his wife went to Freedom to listen to the sound of similar turbines erected there. He said it was like a jet engine 1,000 feet away from them.

Nadeau said it was probably due to wind turbulence.

Wright said he found a local supporter of wind power and took her to Freedom. “The sound was as loud as I had first experienced, and even at 3,000 feet away it was disturbing to all of us,” he said.

Freedom has no ordinance on wind power.

One of the nearly 40 people present at Tuesday’s board meeting suggested Town Manager Glen Holmes and selectmen go to Freedom to listen and report back. There was no response.

Nadeau said his company has six other sites where it can develop wind power. “I don’t have to go here. I’m interested in economic development, but it’s been over a year and I can’t do a project if it is not supported by the town,” he said.

Selectman Eileen Hotham said she thinks the energy-generating project would be very good for the town and asked if Nadeau would come back if things changed. He said he would.

Selectman Chairman John Lowell pointed out that without an ordinance, anyone can approach the town, request a permit and put up wind turbines.

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