First Wind seeks Monson’s input on pending energy project

Posted Nov. 29, 2012, at 3:38 p.m.

MONSON, Maine — A representative of First Wind, a wind energy company based in Boston, met with municipal officials on Nov. 20 about the company’s plans to run an electrical transmission power line through the town.

Project Engineer David Fowler discussed with the planning board and selectmen the company’s plan to link high-tension transmission lines from its wind towers in Bingham, Mayfield and Kingsbury to a Central Maine Power substation in Parkman.

First Wind’s plan calls for the transmission lines to run through Monson. The firm needs to obtain a right-of-way through town in order to achieve its goal. The town currently has a moratorium against such power projects.

The planning board has been working on an ordinance to address the issue when the moratorium expires on March 4, 2013. Fowler met with the officials in order to gauge the planning board’s progress in drafting an ordinance.

He was told by town officials that the planning board’s progress had been delayed due to uncertainty over First Wind’s proposal. The town would receive additional tax revenue and a tangible land conservation grant if it allows First Wind’s power transmission lines to be erected. However, town officials are still reluctant to fully embrace the proposal.

If the town doesn’t want to allow First Wind to proceed, it would either need to pass an ordinance at the March 2013 town meeting banning such developments or approve another 180-day moratorium against such a development.

In other action, the selectmen discussed their options about dealing with four pieces of tax-acquired property. The board unanimously decided to allow the former owners an additional 30 days to repay their delinquent taxes.

The selectmen will meet next at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, in the municipal building.

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