Sutton Rejects Wind Power - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sutton Rejects Wind Power

Sutton, Vermont - March 7, 2006

Sutton was in the spotlight on Town Meeting Day. They hauled out a few extra chairs. They poured more coffee. And prepared to debate article six. Sutton voters are being asked if they would support a wind farm on their ridge lines. Some took issue with the approach of UPC, the out of state company proposing the wind farm.

"Sutton in the way, what's that a few ridges with some hicks who live there all expendable. That is not environmentalism that is consumerism with a little green colored tag on it," said Garret Keizer of Sutton.

Under the plan six of the turbines would be located in Sutton. Another 20 right next door in Sheffield generating about 2 percent of the state's energy needs compared to 30 percent that's generated by Vermont's nuclear power plant.

"It would take approximately 360 of these turbines, 400 hundred feet, massive tall towers to produce what Vermont Yankee puts out right now,"said Donald Gregory who opposes the project.

Townspeople also took aim at the developers for offering the town $100,000 a year if they supported the project.

"With respect to UPC 100,000 gift. A gift does not have strings attached. A bribe does," said Sharon Nichols.

Sutton's vote was advisory. It does not carry any weight whether this project goes forward or not. That decision will be made by the Public Service Board. But selectman wanted this town to be on the record. No one from the floor spoke in favor of the wind farm. Selectman held this vote so they could hear from supporters but none stepped forward.

"I thought there would be at least some in favor of it,"said Selectman Dave McCue.

At the ballot box 23 did support bringing wind towers to Sutton. But 120 voted against the proposal. The Selectman will now take that no message to state regulators.

"It's been interesting, I think it is actually good for the town to have a good healthy discussion...I have noticed it has put neighbor versus neighbor which I don't like."said McCue.

This is just the beginning of the debate for Sutton and the State as Vermonters decide if they want wind towers on their ridge lines.

Anson Tebbetts - Channel 3 News

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