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Proposed wind vote postponed

August 27, 2012

http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20120821/NEWS01/708219936/1002

By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | August 21,2012
CASTLETON — A recently suggested townwide referendum on the proposed wind project has been postponed until at least Town Meeting Day.

Planning Commission Chairman John Hale, who proposed the vote, and the Select Board compromised to move it to next year. Doing so would allow residents to further learn about the project and allow them to complete the amendments to the town plan.

“We have not even passed the town plan when it comes to this,” said Select Board Chairman Thomas Ettori at a recent meeting.

He said if they do have a vote, it would be during town meeting in March.

Hale proposed last month to include the referendum on the proposed Reunion Power wind project on the Grandpa’s Knob ridgeline on the ballot of the upcoming primary vote or general election.

“It was a thought to strengthen our position (against the project),” he said recently. (But) I can see the danger of it. I am a bit of an optimist and I feel it will be a big vote against it.”

The proposed question would read, “Do you think commercial/industrial wind towers should be allowed on Vermont’s mountain ridgelines?” If the question is presented before voters, it will probably be written to only include Castleton.

The Castleton Select Board unanimously voted to opposed the 20-turbine commercial wind project on the ridgeline earlier this year. The board was open to the townwide referendum, but also thought the vote’s outcome could confuse or hurt their opposition to the project if it was positive towards wind.

“The vote is not coming from us,” Ettori said. “Our position has not changed.

In the meantime, the Planning Commission has been working on amending portions of the town plan to include changes regarding the wind project. A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 30 to discuss the amendments.

lucia.suarez@rutlandherald.com

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