News Feature

Web exclusive, February 4, 2011
Brooksville enacts wind power moratorium, energy conservation ordinances

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Brooksville voters enacted two energy-related ordinances in a special town meeting on January 27.

The meeting lasted less than 20 minutes.

The first ordinance established a 180-day moratorium on wind power development.

The second authorized residents to participate in a federal/state loan program to finance energy efficiency improvements to their buildings.

Robert Vaughan was elected moderator after Town Clerk Amber Bakeman opened the meeting.

There was no discussion on the motion to enact the wind power moratorium ordinance, and it was quickly approved 12-8 by a show- of-hands vote. The moratorium created by this ordinance will allow time for the town’s ordinance review committee to prepare a regulatory ordinance to provide standards under which any future applications may be reviewed by the planning board.

The moratorium ordinance itself was prepared as directed by an 81-30 vote at the October 4 special town meeting that was called primarily to enact a cell tower moratorium.

The evening’s second ordinance, entitled “Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Ordinance,” was passed by a wider margin (19-7) using a written ballot. Prior to the discussion, Vaughan read aloud the five-page ordinance, paraphrasing portions of it as he went along, as requested by a resident.

In the ensuing discussion, Harry Madson explained that the object of the ordinance was to meet a statutory requirement for town meeting approval before residents of a town would be eligible to receive low interest loans from the Efficiency Maine Trust. The town’s major obligation under the ordinance is to conduct an education and outreach program to advise residents that such loans are available. The town also must notify the trust in the event of a tax lien on a participating property.

This ordinance had been presented to the selectmen with a recommendation from nine members of the ordinance review committee.