Articles filed under General from New Hampshire
If residents were so unhappy with the Select Board's handling of a peripheral $40,000 payment from the developer, how can they be confident their input on a multi-million dollar PILOT will be taken seriously? And how plausible is it that the public hearings would end with a PILOT that differs substantially from the one that was recently voided? The concern for us, and for many others, is that any hearing would be a mere formality.
The issue of whether the state or local boards will have jurisdiction over a proposed wind farm on Kidder Mountain is slated come to a head on Monday , when the state will hold a public hearing on the issue in Concord.
A Hillsborough County Superior Court judge David Garfunkel ruled Monday that town officials violated the state's Right-To-Know law by holding illegal non-public hearings with Antrim Wind Energy and its counsel to negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes, known as a PILOT agreement. As a result of the ruling, the terms of the deal between the town and Antrim Wind Energy has been voided.
Antrim Town Administrator Galen Stearns said that the wind developer's attorney drafted the motion for rehearing, and it was sent back and forth several times between Geiger and the town for modifications. ...He added that having Geiger draft the appeal was an attempt to speed up the process. Geiger drafted the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement that was also signed by the town.
The appeal and request for a rehearing were crafted by Antrim Wind's attorneys Orr & Reno, according to Select Board Chairman Gordon Webber. Antrim Wind requested the town appeal the decision in support of the LLC's pending appeal, which has to be submitted by June 1, Webber said.
The Antrim Select Board voted to appeal the state ruling that denied a 10-turbine wind project after deciding to accept a $40,000 offer from Antrim Wind in a contentious meeting Monday that led to one resident being escorted out by police and several others walking away in frustration.
The SEC denied Antrim Wind Energy's application based on negative visual impacts the wind farm - proposed for the ridgeline of Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain in Antrim - would have had on the town and its surrounding communities.
One point of agreement during a daylong forum on wind energy in Concord last week is that nobody's really happy with the way New Hampshire has been deciding on these projects since Lempster Wind, between Keene and Claremont, was approved more than five years ago.
The Select Board voted Monday night to delay the decision whether to accept a $40,000 compensation from Antrim Wind Energy until after the state committee that turned down the project in February releases its final order. ..."It does look like you're taking a bribe," said Kat Affholter.
"Some breathing room is what everybody is asking for, and a chance to have an independent study of the SEC and its processes and to perhaps recommend ways it could become more efficient, more sensitive to the voices of the people most impacted," Tuthill said. "You can back off take a year, and see what's happening."
By a vote of 25-22, voters approved Article 29, which would require all wind energy facilities that may come to be located in the town to post security in the form of cash or bond, prior to initiating construction, in order to cover the costs of removing all of the facility upon ceasing operations.
"Iberdrola Renewables knows where the community now stands, from the official voting records in the three towns. In November, Iberdrola stated at three separate meetings in three separate towns that they would not proceed if the townspeople were not in favor of their project. Will they live up to their words and respect the people's voice?"
The zoning board in January also amended its variance to allow for the three turbines. The zoning board had originally approved four turbines at up to 400 feet and a fifth turbine at 500 feet. In January, the zoning board approved three 500-foot turbines.
The incumbent selectman was ousted and a wind farm project got the thumbs down from voters Tuesday. Almost 60 percent, of the registered voters turned out. An article asking voters "to advise the Selectmen to REJECT the proposed Wild Meadow Wind Project" passed 334 to 190.
It's town meeting season. Around Newfound Lake Several towns are contemplating non-binding resolutions to take the pulse of voters on the question of wind-farms. The votes show strong sentiment against more wind-farms in the area, and scant support.
Members of New Hampshire Wind Watch say that a subsidiary of a German company, called Juwi Wind, has signed a lease for 1,300 acres of land Groton, for the purpose of building a wind farm.
"Everything I've discovered - on my own and through this committee - is that wind projects are not economical, nor will they ever be economical, and I believe that we should stop them before the state is destroyed," said Rep. Laurence Rappaport, a Colebrook Republican.
A new gold rush is on. Northern Pass is a first example of this opportunism, but it is by no means the only private project that will target New Hampshire if we take no action. ...Don't let New Hampshire become the dumping ground for private, unneeded energy projects that our neighboring states do not allow.
Last month, New Hampshire state lawmakers quietly introduced a bill that would suspend further wind project development in the Granite State. More than a month later, that proposal is gaining considerable attention from both state representatives and local residents, some of whom claim that wind turbines have damaging effects on tourism and property values.
Labor and business groups were outnumbered today in a hearing to put a moratorium on any wind farm or electrical transmission line project. House Bill 580 calls for an energy plan to be written before permits are issued for projects such as Northern Pass or wind farms such as the one on Tenney Mountain in Plymouth.