Rumford wind ordinance defeated


RUMFORD — It's official and apparently back to the drawing board for selectmen.

The proposed wind ordinance was defeated by a tally of 696-582, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

"The people came out and voted and we always have to respect how the legislative body speaks," he said.

"So the board has to respect those numbers and go from there."

He said he believes the issue will be discussed further at a future meeting, but when that will be scheduled isn't yet clear.

"Somebody could consider that it is of an urgent nature," Puiia said.

"However, based on the moratorium, which is good through July, it probably will wait for another agenda."

"And I think the new board will agree to that, that they may not be prepared to broach that subject," he said.

"So, possibly this will give all the board members ample time to weigh in and maybe consider what that next step will be, if there is a next step."

Additionally, he said town officials will now have to wait to hear from Boston-based wind developer First Wind if Tuesday's defeat kills their interest in still pursuing a $65 million wind farm on Rumford hills.

The current moratorium on wind projects expires on July 25.

The first proposed ordinance, largely believed to be a permanent moratorium on wind farms, was defeated at the Nov. 2 polls by a tally of 1,339 to 1,048.

Selectmen started work on a second proposal, and then dumped that in favor of Selectman Jeff Sterling's rewrite in late April of the defeated ordinance.

The board then held a rare Sunday workshop last month and went through nearly every page of Sterling's 26-page draft.

At a subsequent meeting, the board then voted everything in, mostly by 3-2 tallies with Sterling, Adley and Selectman Mark Belanger approving and Selectmen Greg Buccina and Jeremy Volkernick dissenting.

The proposal was expedited onto the June town meeting warrant rather than wait for a special town meeting or November ballot attempt.

Authors of the first proposal and Buccina and Volkernick claimed the new ordinance caters to wind developers and wouldn't protect the town.

They asked voters not to accept it, saying it needs to be reworked.

The new proposal's backers said otherwise, that it allows and regulates such development, and is more stringent than that of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Whether they had any effect on the outcome or not, there was no shortage of people or signs all day Tuesday telling residents how to vote on the proposed wind ordinance.

Throughout balloting hours between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., people on both sides of the issue held signs urging Yes or No votes.

They stood on both sides of Memorial Bridge and at the lower end of Canal Street and Route 108 trying to catch the attention of voters headed to the polls at the American Legion hall on upper Congress Street.

Dixfield resident Alice Barnett brought several of her large paintings depicting area landscapes marked with many stark white wind turbines and lined the panels along the bridge where she stood holding Vote No signs.

Wind ordinance supporters J. Arthur Boivin and Kay Rand of Rumford and a few others held Vote Yes signs for most of the day.

A red van strategically parked along the Route 2 rotary and a pickup truck parked on lower Canal Street sported large handwritten signs urging No votes.

Additionally, evidence remained throughout town of last week's rampant vandalism of First Wind's Vote Yes signs.

Using red paint, the vandal or vandals spraypainted a large NO over the YES on several of the blue and white signs sometime during the night of June 7 or early morning of June 8.

That happened the day after someone stole 50 of the signs, Boivin said.

That's why he said he waited until early Tuesday morning to place many more signs along Rumford roads so they, too, wouldn't be stolen or vandalized.

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Comment by Terry Tesseo on June 18, 2011 at 9:10am
Yippy! is all I can say.Its about time we wake up to these corporate money grabbing you know what. I live in the Stratton area and have seen the Kibby Windfarm. Come up and check it out it will make you want to cry. The once beautiful mountain is as flat as a football field on top. And not a wild animal to be seen anymore. Thankyou to the people of Rumford I love you. Louise Tesseo


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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