Woolwich voters nix town’s CMP corridor support

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 8:15am

    Woolwich voters have turned a thumbs down on New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), Central Maine Power’s proposed corridor project. Voters Nov. 5 passed both of the petition-initiated referendum questions opposing the project. 

    Selectmen Allen Greene and Dale Chadbourne were re-elected. They ran unopposed. Chadbourne received 609 votes, Greene 503. Town Clerk Chelsea Lane reported 769 votes were cast.

    One of the CMP questions’ petitioners, Sherri Harvey, emailed Wiscasset Newspaper and stated many Woolwich voters were “angry that they were not given a voice to begin with” on the corridor project. She plans to attend the next selectmen’s meeting to discuss the results.

    Lane reported the first question: “To see if the Town will vote to oppose the Central Maine Power (CMP) New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) 145 Mile Hydro-electric Transmission Line Project from Quebec border through the State of Maine?” passed by a vote of 585 to 176.

    Voters passed the second question 611-154. It asked, “If the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to submit a letter of opposition to: Central Maine Power (CMP) New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), Maine Public Utilities Commission, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and Maine Land Use Planning Commission; on behalf of the Inhabitants of the Town of Woolwich in the event that Article #1 is passed with a YES vote?”

    "This should always have been a town-wide vote rather than a vote of the select board, and I'm pleased so many came out to express their view on the CMP corridor," Selectman Allison Hepler commented in an email to Wiscasset Newspaper.

    Earlier this year, the board sent a letter to CMP supporting the project. Chadbourne and Hepler later rescinded their support.

    Selectmen’s Chairman David King Sr. commented Nov. 7, “There are 38 towns affected by the corridor project and each town has a right to say yes or no. In Woolwich’s case, the transmission towers are already here and so is the corridor. The townspeople have voted and asked us to send a letter and we will,” he told Wiscasset Newspaper.

    In Regional School Unit 1 voting results, Lorna Ryan was declared the winner of the unrestricted residence seat for a three-year term. She received 1,177 votes; Alan Walton, 827. Results were posted at rsu1.org. In Woolwich, Ryan received 642 votes; Walton, 47. Anita Brown of Arrowsic was unopposed on the ballot and received 613 Woolwich votes for board member and 1,741 district-wide.