RUMFORD — Selectmen on Friday afternoon voted unanimously to hold a special town meeting on whether to enact a six-month moratorium on commercial wind development. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Rumford Falls Auditorium.

The move was prompted by a tentative proposal by First Wind LLC, of Newton, Mass., to site a wind farm on Black Mountain and two adjacent mountains. A citizens petition with 774 signatures turned in to the town last week asked for a moratorium on such development.

The board’s vote followed a discussion to move the meeting to a site with better acoustics.

“This is already becoming contentious and people can’t hear anything up there,” Selectman Rob Cameron said.

Selectmen Greg Buccina said the meeting is to determine whether people want a moratorium or not.

“This isn’t an informational meeting. That will come later,” he said.

However, Windpower Education Committee member Len Greaney said he believes that limiting discussion is too controlling. He said his group will rally as many people as possible to attend the Dec. 3 meeting.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said the moratorium will give a soon-to-be established Windpower Committee a chance to guide the town with anything related to wind farms. Options could include writing an ordinance that would provide regulations for such development, a plan to work with a wind farm developer, or other ideas that will be determined by the group.

The committee will comprise two selectmen, a Planning Board member, Puiia, and four members of the public. The deadline for submitting an application for one of the public slots is Nov. 19. Puiia said the board will likely appoint members at its Nov. 23 meeting.

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