Susan Theberge of Jay, center, who opposed the proposed CMP transmission line from the Canadian border to Lewiston, discusses draft letters written to oppose the project Monday night with Jay Select Board. She is flanked by her husband, Peter Theberge, left, and Donna Fuller, also of Jay. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

JAY — The Select Board voted 3-2 on Monday night to distribute a letter written by Selectperson Judy Diaz in opposition to Central Maine Power Co.’s proposed 145-mile transmission line.

The letter was among four letters the board considered after Jay residents voted June 24 to oppose the $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect project.

As proposed, the transmission line would run from the Quebec border through some towns in Franklin, Somerset and Androscoggin counties. The line through Maine would extend from Beattie Township on the Canadian border to Lewiston for ultimate connection to the New England power grid.

The June vote also authorized selectpersons to submit a letter of opposition to CMP, New England Clean Energy Connect, the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, on behalf of Jay residents.

Voting in favor of sending Diaz’s letter: Diaz, Selectperson Tom Goding and Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo.

Voting against sending the letter: Selectperson Gary McGrane and Chairman Terry Bergeron.

Prior to the vote, a vote to send Jay resident Susan Theberge’s letter failed 3-2, with McGrane and Bergeron in favor and Goding, DeMillo and Diaz opposed.

The Jay Select Board voted 3-2 on Monday night to send Selectperson Judy Diaz’s letter opposing CMP’s proposed 145-mile transmission line. The letter will be put on town of Jay letterhead and signed by selectpersons. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The letters drafted by Diaz and Theberge were similar, with both citing the articles on which residents voted that were presented by petition to the board containing 217 signatures.

The exception was that Diaz’s letter contained the wording, “Two hundred fifty eight out of three thousand, two hundred ninety-eight voters were present and all three articles passed by a majority.”

Theberge’s letter had the wording: “Both articles passed by an overwhelming majority of the two hundred and fifty-eight voters present at the special town meeting.”

Theberge opposes the project, while Diaz is in favor of it.

McGrane proposed the board go with Theberge’s letter. He said it is irrelevant there are 3,298 voters in the town. People were notified about the town meeting prior to it occurring, he said. Theberge agreed with him.

McGrane also said he wanted separate letters sent to each entity outlined in the warrant article, with carbon copies sent to the other agencies. However, the letters were each addressed to all the entities, as listed in the warrant article. The letter will be put on a town of Jay letterhead.

Following the votes, Theberge told Diaz she appreciated her adding the opposing language to the letter. A draft letter presented to the board earlier in July did not sit well with those against the project.

Diaz and Bergeron told Theberge they appreciated her hard work gathering signatures on the petitions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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