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Senate halts annexation plan

Sun Journal|Rebekah Metzler|June 2, 2009
MaineEnergy PolicyZoning/Planning

The Maine Senate took a lopsided initial vote Monday to deny Carrabassett Valley the right to move forward with a plan to annex Redington Township. Senators voted 29-6 against it, in a reversal of the State and Local Government Committee vote, which approved the measure.


AUGUSTA - The Maine Senate took a lopsided initial vote Monday to deny Carrabassett Valley the right to move forward with a plan to annex Redington Township.

Senators voted 29-6 against it, in a reversal of the State and Local Government Committee vote, which approved the measure.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Walter Gooley, R-Farmington, would have required Carrabassett Valley to hold a townwide referendum on the proposed annexation within a year of enactment. Proponents of the bill admit the intention was to help Endless Energy, a wind power development company, circumvent the Land Use Regulation Commission's denial of permits for building a 300-acre wind farm in the region. Opponents said the move would create a "dangerous" precedent.

"The question is whether we want 400 residents of Carrabassett Valley to take control of the adjacent township for a wind power project that has twice been denied," said Sen. Deb Simpson, D-Auburn, who voted against the bill. "I am personally a big fan of wind power, but I don't think this body wants to send that message."

Sen. John Nutting, D-Leeds, a supporter of the bill, reminded colleagues that the Department of Environmental Protection would still have to approve any potential wind project.

"Our economy is struggling just like everyone else's and we need to help those who want to invest in our economy," he said. "Let's let the DEP weigh in on this as they would any other project."

The bill faces further votes in both the House and Senate.


Source:http://www.sunjournal.com/sto…

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