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UTG Wind Energy Meeting: Board to Send Survey to Landowners

November 12, 2013

The UTG decision makers review a proposal by Seneca Mountain Wind during a meeting held at the Brighton town hall. From left: Shawnda Okeefe, Gina Vigneault (UTG supervisor), Board Chairman Barbara Nolan, Raymond Royce, Patrick Kerin, and Doug Jenks. Photo by Jenn Hanlon

BRIGHTON — At a meeting Monday of the board of governors for the Unified Towns and Gores of Essex County (UTG), very few residents and landowners of the UTG were actually in attendance, though the gymnasium at the town hall in Brighton was crowded. What easily could have turned into a mob scene given the hot topic of wind power on the meeting agenda, behavior of the attendees may have been tempered by the visible presence of four armed officers including Essex County Sheriff Trevor Colby, two of his deputies and Brighton PD Chief Jeff Noyes.
UTG Board of Governors Chairman Barbara Nolan of Averill began the meeting by explaining that this was a regular monthly meeting for the UTG board being held in a different venue to accommodate the expected crowd, and that there were other agenda items that would be addressed prior to the “pre-proposal” presentation by Seneca Mountain Wind representatives. The agenda read, “review and approve letter to be sent out to land owners/voters with proposal,” and “vote on how to send ballots out: one vote per property owned or one vote per property owner?” Following on the printed agenda was “SMW review of pre-proposal,” and “questions on pre-proposal.” Nolan sternly warned the crowd of about 130 people that there would be no meeting interruptions and that they would not let the meeting get out of control.
After addressing the more mundane agenda items, UTG Supervisor Gina Vigneault explained the non-binding opinion survey and vote querying the landowners in the UTG about how they feel about the construction of industrial wind towers.

Please see the Newport Daily Express Wednesday for the complete story.

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