Unofficial Derby Meeting Tackles Wind Project Issues
DERBY - Developers who want to construct two industrial size wind turbines on two farms just east of the Village of Derby Line met with Derby officials at a private meeting Tuesday. One turbine would be located on Grandview Farm owned by the Davis family, and the other on Smugglers Hill Farm owned by Jayne and Jonathan Chase.The purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the select board’s public meeting scheduled for Jan. 9 at 6:30 PM and to introduce a new partner in the project, Jeffrey Hollender, a business strategy consultant from Burlington.Developers will attend the select board meeting to address questions and concerns.The Town of Holland has various concerns over the project and developers may be attending a Holland Select Board meeting sometime in January to address the town’s concerns.Present at the Tuesday meeting were Derby Select Board Chairman Brian Smith, select board member Karen Jenne, Derby Line Trustee Keith Beadle, Derby Zoning Administrator Bob Kelley, and the developers, including Chad Farrell of Encore Redevelopment of Burlington, the firm spearheading the project.Jenne has various concerns regarding the project and feels that her question and concerns remain unanswered even after the meeting Tuesday. Among Jenne’s concerns are potential adverse health effects from noise including infrasound, quality of life issues, shadow flicker, public safety, and property values. Jenne is also concerned about the blasting that would occur during construction. Jenne is concerned that the project would help the individuals farmers but could hurt other farms.Tami LaPointe operates an equine boarding and educational facility at her home on Goodall Road. She is an adjacent landowner to the Chase farm and the turbine would be located approximately a half mile from her home. LaPointe suffers from Meniere’s disease, which is associated with the inner ear. LaPointe is very concerned that the noise from the turbines will have a negative impact on her health and that the symptoms are more pronounced in people with her condition.LaPointe is also concerned that the noise and shadow flicker from the turbines would affect the horses on her property. She said that some who board horses on her property have stated their concern.LaPointe wrote a letter to the Public Service Board stating these issues: “My obvious concern is that my ability to continue my business on my property will be severely comprised or even impossible. I will likely lose much of my business as boarders will move their horses elsewhere to be sure their horses do not become sick from the effects of the nearby wind turbine.”Concerns about ice throw and the safety of horses and their riders were also raised by Lapointe. The potential for reduced property values, having to move to continue her livelihood, and health impacts were all addressed in the letter by LaPointe.“While I have an open mind about wind power, I am concerned that this project is extremely detrimental to my interests due to the placement of the turbines so close to my residence and my business,” LaPointe said. “I feel I also have the right to be able to conduct my business on my property and expect that activities on my neighbor’s property should not impact my business and my health.”Developers applied for Certificate of Public Good with the PSB in December and requested an expedited process. They hope to have the turbines in place in time to qualify for Federal Production tax credits for the project.