Vermont town to revisit anti-wind article

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm •  Published: January 21, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Lowell select board has added an anti-wind power article to its March Town Meeting Day agenda after the Vermont Supreme Court ordered it to reconsider an item that was first was passed over at the meeting almost two years ago, officials said Tuesday.

Select Board Chair Richard Pion said he wished the town had considered the article in 2012 when it first went before the town.

"I expect they will either pass it over or defeat it," Pion said. "It makes no difference how people vote, there's nothing to become of it."

The 21 turbines of the Kingdom Community Wind project are producing electricity, and the taxes paid by Green Mountain Power are supplementing the town budget.

"Last year, this wind money paid everybody's municipal tax," Pion said.

But Lowell resident Ed Wesolow, who took the issue to the Vermont Supreme Court, said the ruling Friday was a win for Democracy, because the court ruled the town must consider the issue.

"I was hoping they'd do the honorable thing and do what they should have done in the first place," which is hold a special town meeting. "All this is, is asking the minority to have a voice to express the fact that we don't like the tactics that have taken place or the ramifications that will hurt this town in the long run."

Lowell is home to Green Mountain Power's Kingdom Community Wind project. In 2010, before it was built, 75 percent of residents at Town Meeting Day voted in favor of the project. The Lowell wind project generated fierce opposition from opponents who felt it would scar the ridgeline and provide no environmental benefit.

In 2012, Wesolow and others petitioned to place an anti-wind article on the Town Meeting Day agenda. The proposed article accused the wind project of violating private property rights, destroying stream headwaters and depressing real estate values.

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