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Moving Forward in Falmouth but Stalled in Scituate

April 13, 2013

The town meeting chronology, from a failed warrant article  to a ballot question to remove Falmouth’s town-0wned turbines, appeared in Sean Teehan’s Cape Cod Times article “Falmouth residents mixed on turbine vote” (4/13/13). The residents he quotes have views that range from support for the measure to begin the process of dismantling to opposing the question. In one case, the reasoning is that it would cost less just to stop running the turbines than to take them down.

For a detailed and colorful account of the three nights of town meeting, the Falmouth Enterprise report by Chrisopher Kazarian (“Voters To Have Say In Fate Of Town’s Turbines” 4/12/13) is must-reading. Quoting a sympathetic voice, Kazarian cited Michael Duffany.

He told Town Meeting that he had recently visited the neighborhood surrounding the turbines and equated the noise of the machines to a low-flying C-130. “I could not believe what I was hearing,” he said. “It just stopped me right in my tracks. At that point in time I didn’t need to read any more studies about sound levels that haven’t been established yet. Throw it all out the window. If you were standing there you would have said the same thing.”

Earlier in the week  the Falmouth Bulletin carried Scott Giordano’s description of the process on the second night of the special town meeting (Falmouth town voters to decide fate of wind turbines; Town Meeting passes amended Article 22” 4/10/13). Giordano quotes Selectmen Chairman Kevin Murphy:

No borrowing would occur unless we get the vote of the voters and then come back to Town Meeting and get the required 2/3 majority vote to borrow money at Town Meeting,” Murphy added. “In this period of time, we could find out what the costs are to dismantle the turbines and take them down and find out if anyone wanted to buy them. We would have the opportunity to have the authorization to go to the Legislature and see if the Legislature were to approve this act and allow the act to move forward. It will come back to Town Meeting. Incidentally, it would never come back to a Town Meeting until and unless, of course, the voters approved this.”

This item on the ballot will be voted on during Falmouth’s election day on May 21, 2013.

This week the “Scituate town meeting rejects resolution to shut down wind turbine” by a wider margin, according to Patrick Ronan’s report in the Patriot Ledger. The Scituate turbine has only been operating for one year.

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