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209 sign petition backing wind turbine project

FREEDOM -- Town officials are considering a 430-mile round trip bus ride to Hull, Mass., to get a better idea of what their town would look like with three wind turbines spinning on Beaver Ridge.

Planning board members began discussing the possibility of a trip after resident and former Freedom postmaster Read D. Brugger and his wife, Heidi Brugger, presented the names of 209 people who had signed a petition in favor of a wind turbine project in Freedom.

Portland-based company Competitive Energy Systems had sparked a heated debate in this town when it announced plans to erect three 400-foot wind turbines, and, until recently, the bulk of the conversation centered on the potential dangers of the project.

But much as 90 percent of the people the Bruggers approached signed their petition, which showed that most people in the town approve of the project, Heidi Brugger said.

"At the CES (Competitive Energy Systems) meeting in March, CES officials said they wouldn't come to a town that didn't want them," she said, explaining the petition's purpose. "This is non-binding -- it was just to get a sense of the sentiment."

The couple told the planning board that the number of signatures is significant, considering the fact that it represents more than half of the number who voted in the last presidential election -- 385, according to planning board chair Nancy Bailey Farrar.

However, others are still... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Planning board members began discussing the possibility of a trip after resident and former Freedom postmaster Read D. Brugger and his wife, Heidi Brugger, presented the names of 209 people who had signed a petition in favor of a wind turbine project in Freedom.
 
Portland-based company Competitive Energy Systems had sparked a heated debate in this town when it announced plans to erect three 400-foot wind turbines, and, until recently, the bulk of the conversation centered on the potential dangers of the project.
 
But much as 90 percent of the people the Bruggers approached signed their petition, which showed that most people in the town approve of the project, Heidi Brugger said.
 
"At the CES (Competitive Energy Systems) meeting in March, CES officials said they wouldn't come to a town that didn't want them," she said, explaining the petition's purpose. "This is non-binding -- it was just to get a sense of the sentiment."
 
The couple told the planning board that the number of signatures is significant, considering the fact that it represents more than half of the number who voted in the last presidential election -- 385, according to planning board chair Nancy Bailey Farrar.
 
However, others are still concerned about safety and environmental issues.
 
Resident Carrie Bennett listed icing, blade throw and property values as other causes for concern that she and another resident, Erin Wade, would like to bring before the planning board in greater detail. The two will speak before the planning board on May 11.
 
Diane Winn, co-founder and manager of nearby wildlife refuge Avian Haven, called on planning board members to find an expert consultant to examine the topography and ambient noise levels in the area in order to determine what effect the whooshing of the turbines might have people or birds in the area.
 
Winn also said that several misconceptions are circulating around town, one of which is that Freedom residents will receive free power from the wind turbine project. One possible source of this misconception could be the Massachusetts wind turbine project. The turbines there do provide power directly to the town, because the town owns them, Pickford said.
 
"That is a completely different process" than the one planned in Freedom, he said.
 
Joel Elliott -- 861-9252
 
jelliott@centralmaine.com
 



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

MAY 5 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2464-209-sign-petition-backing-wind-turbine-project
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