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Falmouth Considers Multiple Options

July 1, 2013

In his Wicked Local Falmouth account of the open Falmouth Selectmen’s discussion of options for addressing wind turbine issues, reporter Scott Giordano expanded on his live tweets during the meeting (“POLL: Turbine discussion divides Falmouth selectmen” 7/1/13).

Selectmen Chairman Brent Putnam said while the July 1 meeting is a “preliminary discussion”  with no input from the public, he believes public comment will be allowed at future meetings.

Giordano published a roundup of the meeting highlights which included:

·         The majority of selectmen seemed to think the option of removing the turbines is now off the table, based on the May 21 election results. But Putnam said that would depend on whether the state would help fund removal of the turbines.

·         Selectman Kevin Murphy noted that turbine neighbors still can attempt to remove the turbines through legal challenges.

·         Putnam said if the town looks at eminent domain as option, they would need to come up with a figure to buy and re-sell homes and go back to Town Meeting for a vote.

·         Murphy suggested selectmen wait to hold a public hearing until selectmen formulate a plan/option on how they wish to proceed.

·         Selectmen agreed to delay any further public discussions on the wind turbines until August, while they gather more information.

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Live-tweeting from the Falmouth meeting on Monday July 1, 2013, Scott Giordano captured the “what-to-do” angst. These items paraphrase a few of his tweets:

  • Flynn: selectmen must develop an operating plan; voters said we don’t want to pay to take down the turbines.
  • Murphy: lawsuits continue as an option for residents seeking removal
  • Putnam: Is taking down turbines entirely off the table or is relocation possible; consultant Tony Rogers estimates 20-40 houses could be sources of litigation; engaging in “mass eminent domain” requires a cost estimate; people are able to sleep now (under night time curtailment)
  • Jones: “We’ve had all the meetings and heard all the experts. We may just have to make a decision.”

But no decision was forthcoming this night. Falmouth will consider turbines again next month.

Scott A. Giordano is @ScottGBulletin and reports for The Bulletin and Wicked Local Cape Cod.

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