Eddington to consider wind moratorium

Posted March 29, 2010, at 9:59 p.m.

EDDINGTON, Maine — The town’s planning board has been working on a new windmill ordinance since July, but still needs more time, Town Manager Russell Smith said Monday.

Residents at tonight’s annual town meeting will vote on whether to enact a six-month moratorium on commercial and residential wind energy facilities to give planners the time they need to craft an ordinance that fits the town, he said.

“They’ve been working on this ordinance for [more than] the past six months,” Smith said. “They’re almost done.”

Eddington is just one of several Maine communities that are either working on or have passed local windmill ordinances, established to provide rules and guidelines, or have endorsed moratoriums to allow the work to be completed.

Planning board members “reviewed the state’s model wind power ordinance and felt that it did not address the needs of the citizens of Eddington,” a memo with the warrant article states.

It adds that a moratorium on windmill applications would “give us the additional time we feel is necessary to write the best ordinance possible.”

No one has approached the town about building a commercial wind facility, Smith said, adding that one resident has erected a windmill.

During tonight’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Eddington School, residents also will vote on the annual municipal budget, which is $4,007 less than last year, Smith said.

The 2010-11 preliminary municipal budget is $928,728. The draft budget includes:

• $23,400 for general government, unchanged from last year.

• $270,757 for administrative salaries and expenses, a proposed $15,469 decrease.

• $196,500 for highways, a $2,900 decrease.

• $253,818 for protection, a $13,841 increase.

• $128,651 for human services, a $1,021 increase.

• $5,000 for unanticipated or emergency expenses.

• Moving $415,000 in revenue-sharing and homestead reimbursement funds to reduce the tax commitment, a decrease of $10,000.

The preliminary budget does not include the Penobscot County tax, which is projected at around $6,000 more than last year, Smith said, or the SAD 63 budget amount that will be established later this year and will be part of the final budget determined in June.

During uncontested local elections held Monday, incumbent Selectman Charles Baker Jr. and resident Peter Lyford collected enough votes to earn seats on the board, and SAD 63 board member Karen Clark was re-elected to the school board, according to unofficial election results.

Lyford will replace Selectman Brian Glass, who decided not to run. All three seats are three-year terms.

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