Wiscasset seeks more answers on CMP transmission line

Tue, 06/15/2021 - 9:30am

    Central Maine Power was back for the Wiscasset planning board’s latest look Monday night at the company’s site plan application for a transmission line project. Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission’s Emily Rabbe had given CMP a detailed memo identifying pieces missing in the application. Rabbe said Monday there were still two outstanding issues. First, would the board like a more detailed drawing showing the setbacks of each pole in the line and second, would the board accept the survey plans submitted given their age; one was from 1992, the other from more than 50 years ago. Site plan applications require a “recent” survey to be submitted and applicants must get a waiver if they do not have one.

    Extensive discussion centered around the 2,500-foot stretch where an additional 85 feet will be cleared next to the existing corridor. Cohen, serving as chair for the meeting, was very concerned about the accuracy of the surveys given their age and because exceptions had not been made in the past. “We haven’t done an exception for anyone. It’s a bad precedent on such a big project,” said Cohen. Cohen noted that he’d gone out to the area and was concerned about how close the clearing would get to property lines. He said he was just looking out for the residents in that area.

    CMP’s lawyer, Matthew Manahan, said CMP were just looking for a ruling that the application was complete, not that the board necessarily approved of it. He also defended the surveys, saying “it’s a valid survey that has not changed.”

    A vote to approve the waiver for the old survey plans lost 2-4 and the board did not vote on the application’s completeness. After much discussion, the board set a site walk for 4 p.m. June 22 on Bradford Road near where the clearing of the 85 additional feet is proposed. Board member Peter McRae said, “I’m curious how close you’re going to get to the pond that’s out there. I want to see as a citizen where that 85 feet goes.” CMP will also provide a more detailed drawing regarding setbacks in the same area.

    CMP will return to the next meeting for a vote on whether or not the application is complete.

    The board approved Chuck Applebee’s application to construct a gravel access road, building and parking pad, and storage garage on Foye Road.

    The board accepted the findings of fact for the airport solar project application, a document put together after a site walk was done and the board’s questions were answered.

    The board meets again at 7 p.m. June 28 in the town office meeting room.