Scituate held their second night of annual town meeting Wednesday night and focused on a non- binding petition article, submitted by neighbors who are opposed to the operation of the town’s municipal wind turbine.
Town meeting rejected the non-binding resolution that directs town officials to use their authority to protect the health and safety of neighbors living near the turbine.
The resolution was defeated by a slim margin of only 14 votes.
Emotions ran high as Mark McKeever, who lives just 640 feet from the turbine, described the effects of noise and intense shadow flicker on his family’s health.
“Our main concern and always has been, is the health of our children. We have headaches. We have ringing in our ears. We do not sleep. We’re very concerned about how our children’s continued exposure to the adverse effects of this wind turbine, will affect their physical and cognitive growth and development. They should not have to go to school tired. They should not have to be dismissed from school because they have headaches and they should not have to wait to do their homework until the flicker stops in my house. Everyone deserves to be in a safe environment and my children deserve it too!” an emotional McKeever said.
Selectman Rick Murray voiced the board of selectmen’s opposition to the article, citing the cost to the town if the contract with Scituate Wind LLC is broken and the turbine is shut down.
“Even a very small decrease in operations ends up costing us about $235,000 a year. You put that out over 15 years and its $3.5 million. If we shut it down completely, that means we would owe Scituate Wind $8 million and we’d need to buy about $4.3 million back from National Grid. That’s big money – about $12 million for us to break this contract”.
Town meeting approved a zoning by-law for a one year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and wrapped up all the articles on the warrant.