Barre Town Board did a ruse over several months in seeking feedback on revised wind ordinance

Posted 18 January 2019 at 8:55 am


So, the Barre Town Board passed a resolution recommending that no changes be made to our current wind ordinance in light of Apex’s proposal to erect 47 industrial wind factories in our town. Surprised? No.

Actually the Town Board made this decision over seven months ago. On June 10, 2018 at 10:11 a.m. I had a conversation with a member of the Town Board. I had called to inquire if the Town Board was planning to review and/or revise the current ordinance. The board member’s response was “No.”

When questioned further, specifically about the three short statements that dealt with setbacks, he stated that three (out of five) board members had already decided that there would be no changes to the current wind ordinance.

So, you think your voice matters? It doesn’t. The final decision, that was just announced at the January 9, 2019 Town Board meeting, was already determined prior to June 10, 2018!

For all of you “unreasonable people” (AKA residents of Barre), whether you are for or against the industrial wind project, nothing you said or did over the past seven months mattered at all. Everything that has happened has been a complete ruse – the public hearing in July, the two  surveys done later that month, concerned residents being prevented from speaking about wind turbines at Town Board meetings and ordered to submit all wind turbine concerns, in writing, to the Planning Board, the public forum held in October by the Planning Board and all the written comments to the Planning Board, that were due by November 1, 2018, none of it mattered.

The Planning Board planned to review material it received and have a decision to the Town Board by the first of the year. Apex was hoping for a decision on the wind ordinance by the first of the year. Could that be why the Planning Board meeting of November 12, 2018, a meeting that started with an executive session with the town’s lawyer, ended abruptly with a motion, that was approved, to not make any changes to the ordinance? The “no changes” recommendation was forwarded to the Town Board in December and they announced that they would make their decision – no, that isn’t quite right is it? They announced that they would finally make their decision – public – in January.

Now Town Board members refer to Barre residents as “unreasonable people” and lament the fact that they had to sit through “14 meetings” and listen to the “same thing being said over and over.” Town Board members are “incensed” that residents would question their commitment to the health, safety and welfare of all of our residents. We “unreasonable people” are incensed about the ruse that has been perpetrated upon the residents of our town for the past seven months.

Donna Rhodey