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Freedom folks seeking turbine answers

FREEDOM -- Residents here and members of the grassroots group Windwise have determined at least one thing about the wind turbine project proposed for nearby Beaver Ridge: They have lots of questions.

An estimated 50 people gathered in the basement of Freedom Congregational Church Friday evening to discuss concerns related to the $10 million project. Competitive Energy Systems, a Portland-based corporation that has been testing wind conditions for the past 17 months for the project.

The thrust of the discussion centered on questions residents would like answered before -- or if -- the wind turbines are to be erected.

"Our whole mission is just to get more information about these windmills, and try to get it out to the people in the town" Dave Bennett said.

Windwise has no single spokesman, but his home provided the launching point for the group. Thursday's meeting provided a forum for concerned residents to sort out the most pertinent issues to take to the informational meeting with Freedom town officials, residents and representatives of the energy company.

"I think there will be lots of people, and lots of questions," Bennett said.

The Competitive Energy Systems representatives will hear residents' concerns at 6:30 p.m. Monday, at the Freedom Grange. A few of the questions raised Thursday were:

How would the presence of three 400-foot wind turbines affect property values?

Would the blades present a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

An estimated 50 people gathered in the basement of Freedom Congregational Church Friday evening to discuss concerns related to the $10 million project. Competitive Energy Systems, a Portland-based corporation that has been testing wind conditions for the past 17 months for the project.
 
The thrust of the discussion centered on questions residents would like answered before -- or if -- the wind turbines are to be erected.
 
"Our whole mission is just to get more information about these windmills, and try to get it out to the people in the town" Dave Bennett said.
 
Windwise has no single spokesman, but his home provided the launching point for the group. Thursday's meeting provided a forum for concerned residents to sort out the most pertinent issues to take to the informational meeting with Freedom town officials, residents and representatives of the energy company.
 
"I think there will be lots of people, and lots of questions," Bennett said.
 
The Competitive Energy Systems representatives will hear residents' concerns at 6:30 p.m. Monday, at the Freedom Grange. A few of the questions raised Thursday were:
 
How would the presence of three 400-foot wind turbines affect property values?
 
Would the blades present a hazard to migrating birds or bats?
 
What would be the level and nature of the noise created by the turning blades, and would it prove detrimental to the local wildlife habitat and, more specifically, to the rehabilitating birds at nearby bird hospital Avian Haven?
 
Would the 130-foot spinning blades reflect the sunlight in a strobe effect that would provide an annoyance or health hazard to the community below?
 
Code enforcement officer Jay Guber said energy company representatives have suspended their construction application until July 1 to give the town more time to gather information, but residents discussed the possibility of enacting a six-month moratorium on industrial construction.
 
Guber advised residents that, if they call for a moratorium in the form of a citizens initiative, they should make sure that the language affects all industrial construction, not just wind turbines.
 
Since Guber's role is to determine whether the construction project complies with the town's ordinances, and Freedom has none that apply to wind turbines, ultimately, he would have to approve the application, he said.
 
"We do have a barking dog ordinance that deals with annoying noise," Guber said. "If I could relate it to that, I would."
 
Joel Elliott -- 861-9252
 
jelliott@centralmaine.com


Source: http://morningsentinel.main...

APR 1 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1982-freedom-folks-seeking-turbine-answers
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