Eddington residents OK wind moratorium

Posted March 31, 2010, at 6:55 p.m.

EDDINGTON, Maine — Residents asked a few questions and voiced some concerns about windmills at Tuesday’s annual town meeting, then they endorsed a six-month moratorium on commercial and residential wind energy facilities, Town Manager Russell Smith said Wednesday.

The 180 days will give town planners, who have been working on a windmill ordinance since July, the time to craft an ordinance that fits the town.

“Overall, they wanted to see what the ordinance looks like,” Smith said of the nearly 70 residents who attended the annual meeting.

Eddington is just one of several Maine communities that recently have passed windmill moratoriums to allow town officials to work on rules and guidelines specific to their communities. The local moratorium can be extended by selectmen for an additional 180 days, if requested.

In late May, “we’ll have a document for our first public hearing to get input” from residents, Smith said. “I think there will be several public hearings, then they can hold a special town meeting” to consider enacting the ordinance.

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

During the meeting residents approved 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 both collected 37 votes to earn seats on the board, and SAD 63 board member Karen Clark was re-elected to the school board with 38 votes, 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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