Canadian Mayor Threatens to Shut off Water to U.S. Town

DERBY, VT/STANSTEAD QC. - Mayor Philippe Dutil of Stanstead, Quebec, says he would shut off the water valves to Beebe Plains, VT, if the Town of Derby supports the proposed Derby Line Wind Project. The Canadians control the water that serves Beebe, a village in the Town of Derby, near the Canadian-U.S. border. Mayor Dutil made the statement at a gathering Sunday in Stanstead. Quebec residents toured the U.S. location, from the Canadian side, where the proposed industrial size wind turbines could stand. Dutil said that Stanstead and Vermont have had good friendly relations that includes managing the water supply to Beebe, a system separate from the International Water Company. The Canadian water workers have had to comply with both Canadian and U.S. guidelines, and doing so serves no benefit to Canada; it’s a friendly gesture to the country’s American neighbors. Dutil also says that Stanstead had been responsible for Canusa Road, a unique road with the north lane in Canada and the south lane in the United States (Beebe, VT).Dutil reiterated that his statements are his alone, and the Stanstead Council, which would have the ultimate say, did not pass a resolution on the issue.The International Water Company (IWO) serves parts of Quebec and Derby Line, along with the Derby Elementary School. Eight Canadians sit on the board with four Americans. Dutil has brought up the IWO as a reminder of friendly relations and working together. He also notes that Derby Line sewer goes north to Stanstead for treatment.Protest PlannedOpposition is growing every day, Dutil said, and a protest is scheduled for outside the Haskell Library and Opera House, which straddles the border of Derby Line, VT, and Stanstead, QC. The protest is scheduled for Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. Dutil said he is organizing with others mayors and that the Provincial Government is getting involved. Dutil said he has read about leaders coming together and stopping proposed wind turbines projects that are too close to homes.Dutil and Stanstead Town Council member Paul Stuart said concerns are ice throw, aesthetics, depreciating property values, and the killing of birds, among many others concerns.Chad Farrell of Encore Redevelopment, which is proposing the project, has tried to talk to the mayor on the issue, Dutil said, and Dutil suspects Farrell wants to offer Stanstead money. But Dutil does not want money. He says the money won’t make up for the damage.Stuart says he is reading about all the side effects people are facing from living near turbines and he doesn’t want the approximately 50 people living right on the border to be the “guinea pigs” for the project.Jean-François Nadeau is one of the property owners just inches from the border line. He is building his dream home about 325 feet from the Smugglers Hill Farm to the east, where one turbine is to be located. To the west is the small Grandview Farm turbine, where another large turbine could go. Nadeau has threatened legal action against the Town of Derby and the villages of Derby Center and Derby Line if they support the project, Derby Select Board Member Karen Jenne said.Canadians are planning to attend Derby Select Board meetings.