KINGFIELD, Maine (STPNS) -- CARRABASSETT VALLEY -- Back in November, the selectmen announced that Harley Lee, president of Endless Energy Corporation of Yarmouth had approached the town about the possibility of annexing part of Redington Township.
This is Lee's latest initiative to see a 90 megawatt wind farm come to light on the Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble mountains.
After nearly two decades of trying and finally receiving a Land Use Regulation Commission staff recommendation to approve the project, last year Lee witnessed the commissioners themselves reject the project nearly unanimously.
However, if the town did annex part of Redington Township, the LURC decision would have no bearing and the wind farm project would gain new life.
It was reported that representatives of Endless Energy will be developing a concept plan for the selectmen's review either later this month or sometime in January. In the interim, the town has issued a public announcement to notify residents.
The announcement says that the primary difference in the new project, if considered, would be that the wind farm is "community-based." Such things may occur like substantial energy cost savings to Sugarloaf and Sunday River as well as to the ratepayers of the town. The statement also says the project may include substantial property tax reductions for the taxpayers and may include other benefits.
"The board of selectmen is not making recommendations regarding the merits or faults of this proposal at this time," the announcement reads. "However, the board feels that due to the potential benefits to the community and surrounding area that this proposal should be brought before the citizens of the town (and surrounding communities) for further discussion."
Procedurally, annexation of Redington Township by the town would require a favorable vote of the State Legislature. If that is achieved, a vote would be required by the citizens of Carrabassett Valley.
The announcement informs the public that after the potential $130 million concept plan is brought to the selectmen, Lee and company will have several small presentations with various groups before having larger meetings with the general public.
It was noted in the minutes that the issue still bears much more discussion. Chairman Bob Luce added that Sugarloaf has an interest in this type of project, whereby it can take advantage of lower electric costs, according to a draft copy of the minutes.
"Lloyd Cuttler added that this goes beyond a dollars and cents issue, but also needs to be looked at in terms of the environmental benefit."
Board members said that they would want to see a full proposal before going any further in discussions with Endless Energy.
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