Bucksport may use land for wind power

Posted Sept. 12, 2008, at 7:27 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 28, 2011, at 12:29 p.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Town councilors on Thursday voted to purchase a 51-acre parcel adjacent to the town’s middle school that could serve as a site for municipal wind power generation.

The council’s approval of the purchase stipulated that the offered price for the parcel would be the assessed value of $95,000. Town Manager Roger Raymond indicated that the seller, the Bucksport Estates, has agreed to accept that price.

Raymond outlined a number of potential uses for the property, including the generation of wind power. The town’s energy committee has been investigating potential sources of alternative energy for the town and previously had identified the area near the Bucksport Middle School as a possible site for a wind turbine.

“It’s in a good position,” Raymond said. “It’s the highest point in Bucksport and that’s where we get the most wind.”

If a wind turbine were developed on the site, Raymond said, it could lower electricity costs for the middle school and nearby Miles Lane School.

The land also could serve several other public functions, he said, including expanding the existing Miles Lane Trail, which has become a popular walking trail used by residents; and as a potential site for affordable housing for the elderly and for families. The town recently completed a survey that determined there is a need for additional housing for the elderly in town and is working with a consultant on developing such a housing project.

The site was studied by the town’s finance committee, which conducted a wetland survey that identified approximately 4-5 acres of wetlands on the site. Raymond characterized those areas as wooded wetlands which were not of much value. But he noted that the area could be used to mitigate impacts on wetlands from other town projects.

Raymond also suggested that the property could be used as an outdoor classroom for the town’s schools, all of which are located near the parcel.

Some areas on the site have no public value, he said, adding that the town could sell portions over time, some sections to abutters and some lots to interested parties. Although he advised against subdividing the property, he said the town could recoup much of the cost of the property by selling parcels over a period of time.

In other action, the council voted to formally accept a $92,600 grant from the Maine Municipal Investment Trust. The funds were earmarked to remove a building from a lot on Central Street that the town recently purchased. The lot is located adjacent to MacLeod’s Restaurant and across Central Street from the Jed Prouty Inn.

The town plans to remove the building and develop a parking lot on the site. The project will be put out to bid. Though much of the work, including removal of the building, is expected to be done this year, Raymond said it likely would be next spring before the site can be paved. The contract will stipulate that the work must be completed by May 31.

Participants sought for Race for the Cure

BANGOR — The Komen Maine Race for the Cure will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, on the Bangor Water-front.

There is still time to register for the Race for the Cure. Those yet to register are encourage to do so as a member of the ENCORE Energizers. Registra-tion forms are available at the Bangor Y at 17 Second St. Those who do not want to register may make donations before or during the festivities.

For information, visit komenmaine.com or call 941-2808.

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