DIXFIELD — The Western Maine Economic Development Council, River Valley Growth Council, Greater Franklin Development Corporation and the Western Mountains Alliance will host a wind energy debate from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in the Community Room of Dirigo High School, Weld Street. The snow date will be Feb. 18.

The debate-style forum will be focused on the health and economic impacts of large scale wind development. A panel of debaters representing varying perspectives on the two issues will include: Dr. Albert Aniel, a physician at Rumford Hospital; Dr. Richard Jennings of Fayette; Sen. Peter Mills of Cornville; and Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Panelists will be asked by citizens to address likely impacts of wind to community health and economic development, including taxes and energy costs for citizens.

In addition to panelists listed above, the event will include a table of experts to provide information on other pertinent questions that may arise pertaining to permitting, tax increment financing, sound impacts or local economic development impacts. The experts will include: Peter Guldberg, a sound engineer; Jim Cassida of the Department of Environmental Protection; Brian Hodges of the Department of Economic and Community Development; and J. Dwight of Dwight Investment Counsel of Wilton.

The event goals are to provide credible information on a diverse group of issues pertaining to wind development in Maine, and specifically the Dixfield and Carthage communities; to provide an opportunity for project opponents and proponents to engage in civil discourse; and to provide information that will help citizens make informed decisions about wind development in their communities.

The public is encouraged to e-mail questions for the debaters to Beverly Crosby at [email protected] Those attending are requested to respond by e-mailing Crosby or calling 369-0396 so that organizers may ensure adequate seating at the event.

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