Update on Grafton’s non-binding industrial wind poll

 

The turbines on Lowell Mountain will be discussed at an upcoming hydrology forum in Grafton, aimed at examining how that project can be related to the wind project proposed in Windham/Grafton. Photo Provided.
The turbines on Lowell Mountain will be discussed at an upcoming hydrology forum in Grafton, aimed at examining how that project can be related to the wind project proposed in Windham/Grafton. Photo Provided.

 

GRAFTON, Vt. – The Grafton Town Selectboard spent much of its time recently discussing and hearing public comment on a non-binding industrial wind-power poll that was approved by a 4-1 majority vote during a previous meeting.

There are many details to be worked out, however the question of the poll’s legality has been settled according to Chairman Ron Pilette, who said that Town Attorney Robin Stern has made it quite clear that its perfectly okay to move ahead with the poll.

Be that as it may, the best method for achieving the realization of pragmatic data from a poll on placing wind turbines in the town is not quite so clear as Selectboard members and the public audience discovered upon further discussion.

Selectman Skip Lisle stated that he had put a call in to the Town of Brighton, because they have been through a similar experience and could possibly provide useful information for Grafton moving forward. He said he is awaiting a response.

The poll, as previously passed, was to include three options (yes, no, or undecided) for response to a question concerning putting wind turbines in Grafton; it would also provide a voice for all homeowners in the town, not just primary residents.

Raising a point for consideration, Selectman John Turner asked about the board’s decision to include a third option on the poll.

“In having that opportunity to put down ‘undecided,’ are there a lot of people who choose to check that because ‘I’ll get more information, I’ll know more later, and I’ll decide later,’ and in having that option we dilute the poll?”

Turner re-iterated several times throughout the meeting that the objective of the poll was to provide a snapshot of where the community is right now on the wind issue, and produce viable feedback that could be used to guide future decisions.

Arguing that there are people in the town who are undecided on the issue, Selectman Al Sands was of the opinion that the town should be working with an attorney to get questions answered and information out to the community in order to help citizens reach a decision.

After much deliberation as to the technicalities of the survey, the general consensus among Selectboard members, as well as the public in attendance, was that the poll should be made as simple as possible and turned out in a timely fashion.

In a 4-1 vote, the poll that includes the three options was reaffirmed by the Selectboard.

Further details on the execution of the survey will be worked out at a special meeting of the Selectboard on Friday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Grafton Town Hall.

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