Londonderry voters agree to fund wind proposal fight

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(Host) Londonderry voters agreed to spend $100,000 fighting a controversial wind farm proposal.

The money is for consulting and legal fees to help the town plead its case against the project before the state Public Service Board.

(Keese) Londonderry voters agreed last month by a two-to-one margin to oppose the Glebe Mountain Wind Energy project. On Tuesday they backed up their sentiments with cash.

Developers want to build 19, 420-foot turbines on the town’s most visible peak, up slope from the Magic Mountain ski Resort.

They’re expected to formally file this month for state approval.

The state Public Service Board has the final say on whether the turbines will be built. But the town has input in the proceedings, mainly through its town plan.

Londonderry officials recently reworked that plan to specifically rule out commercial wind development on Glebe Mountain.

Robert Forbes is the chairman of the Londonderry selectboard.

(Forbes) “The money gives us the means with which to argue the town’s position. I think the Selectboard has a responsibility to defend the town’s town plan, but you need means to do that if you’re going to do that effectively with the PSB.”

(Keese) Supporters of the wind project tried repeatedly to reduce the amount of money.

Robert Bryson was among those who worried that the funds would be used to defend the revised town plan against possible legal challenges.

(Bryson) “I’m just going to say that this is a black hole that you’re just going to stuff money down — that you’re going to lose.”

(Keese) But opponents of the towers prevailed. They also unseated Claire Trask, a 12-year incumbent on the selectboard who supports wind development.

Bill Wylie, a wind opponent, defeated Trask by a narrow margin.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Susan Keese.

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