Articles filed under General from Massachusetts
Proponents from the Nantucket Energy Study Committee and the town's energy office were preparing to seek a warrant article for the 2012 annual town meeting to appropriate up to $3.45 million to build the 900-kilowatt turbine. But in the face of unexpected and strong resistance from Madaket residents, the board decided Wednesday to schedule a vote on Jan. 4 on whether to proceed with the project.
After concerns about what they might use the sites for, voters at Monday night's Somerset special town meeting decided to indefinitely postpone an article that asked them to approve of allowing the selectmen to lease and/or enter into power purchase agreements for the alternative energy generation at 27.72 acres of town-owned land off of Wilbur Avenue and at the town's former landfill.
The committee presented a 71-page summary of the feasibility study conducted by Atlantic Design Engineering which indicated that a small turbine would not generate enough revenue to pay for itself, while a larger turbine at that location would have too great a negative impact on the neighborhood.
"I would fight this thing tooth and nail," Funfar told about 40 people gathered at the Northeast Maritime Institute. "It's a lot easier to stop it before it goes up." About 10 Fairhaven residents tried to halt construction last week but a Taunton Superior Court judge denied both a temporary restraining order and a request to revive a 2008 lawsuit against the project.
According to a court notice released today, Judge Rene Dupuis determined plaintiffs did not have the right to revisit their 2008 lawsuit or to stop construction on the project.
With two of the three selectmen requesting that the Alternative Energy Committee put a hold on any plans to seek additional funding for further research into the siting of a wind turbine at North Hill, neighbors won a battle in their fight to kill the project.
The on-again, off-again plan to build two wind turbines in Fairhaven may be off again, pending the ruling of a Superior Court judge. About 10 Fairhaven residents took their cause to court this week, seeking to revive a 2008 lawsuit and stop ongoing construction at the planned Arsene Street site.
He noted that in addition to neighboring residences, the area is home to hundreds of people living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the nearby hospital. "Talk about impacting the neighborhood," Tavares said. "We put up with the noise, the dust, the smells and the vibrations, and we still have another year to go. No thank you, we're not interested."
Last Monday night, the Selectmen, in their role as Electric Light Commissioners, voted unanimously to allow D&C Construction a special permit to manage or operate a wind turbine at 180 Town Farm Road. However, in case the project doesn't get off the ground, the permit terminates on Jan. 1.
"It's certainly been frustrating trying to get open and honest answers from town engineering regarding the turbine project," said Jonathan West, whose property abuts a proposed site for the wind turbine. "This makes it difficult to voice opposition to the project, especially since there are no meetings to discuss the project.
Monday night, the opposing group gave a presentation to the Duxbury Board of Selectmen. They emphasized that they do not want the AEC to pursue their recent decision to submit an article requesting funding for additional wind studies at the annual town meeting in March.
Selectmen continue to hear from Hounds Ditch Lane residents opposed to a wind turbine at the North Hill Marsh Reservation and will again meet with members of the group of concerned Duxbury residents organized as Duxbury Wind Wise.
With a quantity of helpful information in hand, Health Board Vice Chairperson Lynne Brodeur suggested forming a subcommittee to study proposed regulations. "Certainly within the group you have experts. Looking at the trend in regulations, people are looking at regulations that keep turbines moving further away from residents," she noted.
Fowler said he believed the panel is on track to meet an informal Jan. 15 deadline to report back to the Select Board -- "not a recommendation, this is all about talking to the public," said Select Board Chairman John McNinch. "This is about educating the board, not swaying one person to go the other way because we have a 3-3 panel.
"Duxbury is historic/residential,'' Hunt said. "We don't have big stores and we don't have industrial uses. This is a town that had a long debate over the color of the awnings at Dunkin' Donuts, and now we're going to build this monstrosity on the ninth hole?''
Critical of both the project and the process, opponents say they were given no notice of construction activity on the turbine project, which they considered dead after a successful 2009 legal battle. But selectmen insist they took all required permitting steps.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick wants to install 2 thousand megawatts of wind energy by 2020. The plan includes a bill that would make the permitting process for building wind turbines easier. Though, as our Brandon Walker explains, weighing the pros and cons of installing turbines has been a challenge for towns in Berkshire County.
Frederick D. Field quietly withdrew his Zoning Board of Appeals special permit application at the end of a long meeting Thursday night that brought out 250 residents from several hilltowns. The announcement brought a huge cheer from the audience.
Cape Wind's main opposition group said contributions to its cause surged by 22 percent last year as its donor base broadened amid rising concerns about the offshore energy project's cost.
The project has proved controversial in town. Last night, people stood at the doors of Ipswich High School, passing out fliers in favor and against the turbine project to those headed into the meeting. ...Several people spoke in favor of delaying a Town Meeting vote saying the public does not have enough information, including specific financial figures on how much the town would pay for the power it produces.