Wilton filing petition in CMP transmission line

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WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons voted 3-0-1 Tuesday to late-file a petition with the Public Utilities Commission to intervene in Central Maine Power Co.’s New England Clean Energy Connect project.

The deadline for intervention filing was October 13, 2017, according to information in the PUC project docket.

Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri, David Leavitt and Keith Swett voted for the filing, Phillip Hilton abstained and Tom Saviello was absent.

The $950 million project proposes building a 145-mile transmission line to deliver power generated by Hydro-Quebec to users Massachusetts. The line through Maine would begin in Beattie Township in Franklin County and extend east and south into Somerset, Androscoggin and Cumberland counties.

As an intervenor, Wilton will have a seat at the table in any decisions, any requests, any filings that are made in proceedings and would be copied on all correspondence in the docket, Maiuri said.

“Central Maine Power Co. and the New England Clean Energy Connect Project has ceased negotiations with a group that had formed to work out something that was more amenable to the people of Franklin County,” she said.

Selectperson Tom Saviello previously said a group of representatives from the Franklin County Commission and the towns of Wilton, Farmington, Chesterville and New Sharon had been talking with CMP officials to reach an economic agreement. A meeting scheduled for Aug. 30 to continue discussion of the agreement was canceled by CMP at the last minute, he said.

“Since they are not negotiating, we do not really have all that much information. So we have a decision to make if we want to file as an intervenor for the town of Wilton,” Maiuri said.

In other matters, Western Maine Play Museum representatives gave an updated the board on the project, which has seen a number of setbacks due to grant compliance processes. Additionally, a boom in the construction industry has meant fewer subcontractors have availability in their schedules, stated Josh Wojcik of Upright Frameworks.

Museum board President Angela McLeod said, “We are five years into the project. We are excited to see the end of the project. We just want to make the community aware the project is still very much alive.”

Wojcik, whose company has been awarded the construction contract, said the project would most likely be finished in early 2019.

“At this point, we have subcontractors. The plan, for the most part, is fairly set and is back underway,” he said.

“We are going to get the sign back up so the community knows the project is not bogged down,” he said.

The museum board will hold an open forum to present updates to the community will be held Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at Calzolaio Pasta Co., 248 Main St.

The selectboard approved the recommendation of the Fire Truck Committee to accept a $14,651 proposal for a 61- inch utility body for the department’s Ford F550 truck. The proposal from Hews Truck Body and Equipment of South Portland does not include accessories which will make the truck emergency ready.

Daniel Bolduc, director of the Bureau of Labor Standards, announced the town has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers. The certification recognizes exemplary performance of public-sector organizations that undertake a deliberate and rigorous safety program for employees, he said.

The Fire Department and Police Department earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers certification three years ago. The award presented Tuesday includes the police, fire, highway, transfer Station, water, recreation and town office departments, said Town Manager Rhonda Irish.

dmenear@thefranklinjournal.com

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