Grafton residents await answers on wind project

By Gloria Dufield
© 2015 Telegraph Publishing, LLC

Less then a dozen community members attended Grafton’s 15-minute Select Board meeting on Monday in which topics ranged from finalizing details relating to ongoing projects, FEMA buyouts and the town garage closing, to the continued discussion on the wind project.

From left, Grafton Select Board members Skip Lisle, Gus Plummer, Ron Pilette, Sam Battaglino and Noralee Hall. Photo by Gloria Dufield.

From left, Grafton Select Board members Skip Lisle, Gus Plummer, Ron Pilette, Sam Battaglino and Noralee Hall. Photo by Gloria Dufield.

The board voted Town Administrator Rachel Williams as a town agent for the upcoming FEMA buyouts and the closing on the sale of the garage. At the last board meeting, the board voted to sell the garage to Jamie Gregory of Jamie Gregory Trucking and Excavating for $95,000.

While Williams is already scheduled to attend these meetings, this allows her to represent the Select Board if no board member can attend. A buyout is scheduled for this week and the closing on the sale of the garage is set for next month.

Williams will only be serving as town agent for these specific meetings and does not have the same role as an elected town agent. Also connected to FEMA is the storage container that had been used by the town for storage when part of the town garage was damaged during Tropical Storm Irene. The Fire Department has said it is interested in purchasing the container or having it donated to the department. Select Board chair Sam Battaglino called the situation complicated. He said he will be looking into it, then report back.

The board provided an update on the questions that were submitted in August to both the developer and land owner regarding the proposed wind project.

Jenny Briot, Iberdrola Renewables project manager, and Melissa Belcher, community relations manager for Meadowsend Timerlands Ltd., had informed the board that the written answers to questions submitted to them by the Wind Information Subcommittee would be provided by Sunday, Nov. 1.

The original three pages of questions gathered from community input had been submitted to them in August.  You can view the questions by clicking here.

Battaglino, expressed his disappointment in the Nov. 1 date for receiving the written answers. One resident asked why some of the questions couldn’t be answered at least by Meadowsend before then. Town Administrator Williams replied that Belcher said that each question was specific and Iberdrola wanted to give the most comprehensive answers.

Stan Mack asked why there was such concern over the November date when the Select Board had not answered the two questions that he had submitted that were directed specifically to the board on project. Board member Ron Pilette, who also sits on the Wind Information Subcommittee, said that they will have written responses to those two questions at the next board meeting.

That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5 at Grafton Elementary School, 58 School St. Battaglino said there is a slight possibility that the location will be changed, but that a notice would go out if that were the case.

In other news

Both Williams and Battaglino, covered the Highway Report in the absence of Road Foreman, Danny Taylor. Road maintenance will be occurring on an add needed basis and a meeting regarding the guardrail on Chester Road is scheduled for this week. Battaglino is going to ask Taylor to look into options for installing a barrier, be it a guardrail or boulders, on a cutout that has been used as a dumping area on 121 West.

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About the Author: Gloria Dufield is a Green Mountain Union High School and University of Vermont graduate. She has more than 15 years of experience working in higher education libraries. Her most recent writing includes marketing projects for a Vermont GIS company as well as articles for a weekly publication.

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