News : Antrim asks for review of wind farm project

May 17, 2013

From the Union Leader 

By Meghan Pierce

ANTRIM — The debate over the proposed Tuttle Hill wind farm is heating up again.

The town submitted an appeal Wednesday of the state Site Evaluation Committee’s denial of a permit to Antrim Wind Energy LLC for the project, and, in doing so, requested a rehearing of the application.

The appeal follows two contentious public hearings to discuss the acceptance of $40,000 from Antrim Wind to the town to offset the aesthetic impact of the industrial wind project by funding improvements to the surrounding Gregg Lake area.

Town Administrator Galen Stearns said the $40,000 is not a bribe, as some residents have said.

“The Selectmen’s position was we already agree to the project and we have already entered into a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement with Antrim Wind. This is an offer over and above what we would receive if the offer goes forward so there’s no reason not to take it,” Stearns said.

The appeal and request for a rehearing were crafted by Antrim Wind’s attorneys Orr & Reno, according to Select Board Chairman Gordon Webber. Antrim Wind requested the town appeal the decision in support of the LLC’s pending appeal, which has to be submitted by June 1, Webber said.

“We support renewable energy. We look forward to the revenue this project would bring to Antrim. And we are supportive of Antrim Wind LLC. As a company, we feel very comfortable with them,” Webber said.

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