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Portsmouth Town Council Supports Fight Against Bridge Tolls

The Portsmouth Town Council met Tuesday night.

The Portsmouth Town Council met Tuesday night to discuss a few controversial issues, including the wind turbine generator and state plan to place tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. 

Featured here is a report of actions taken during the meeting. 

7 p.m. — Council votes 7-0 to advertise a hearing, in which . 

7:11 — Town Solicitor D.A. D'Andrea and council publicly discuss unknown issue. D'Andrea says if someone has a complaint, "they should file it." The exact complaint or issue is unknown. 

Residents, council unite in protest against bridge tolls

7:15 — Council President Joe Robicheau says "bridge toll" item will be moved to top of tonight's agenda.

7:17 — Jeanne Smith says she has . Smith urges everyone to mail a letter, "not an e-mail" to the governor. "If you need his address, I have it," she says. 

7:19 — Smith also said the governor will be in town on Aug. 23. She urges everyone to come and meet the governor. "Don't let him roll over us again," she said. 

7:22 — Gov. Lincoln Chafee will visit Portsmouth Town Hall on Aug. 23 at 8:30 a.m. 

7:29 — Smith urges all to attend. "We'll leave the light on for him," Smith says followed by a round of applause. 

7:34 — Council votes 7-0 to approve a resolution opposing bridge tolls. The resolution states the town "opposes ." Council will send the resolution to all surrounding communities and the governor. Audience applauds. 

Town administrator reads report, gives 3 options to fix wind turbine

7:39 — Town Administrator John Klimm says he met with CRMC and Carnegie about . "We need clarity on this issue," he said. Klimm says the town will search for a legal opinion on issue. 

7:45 — A group is organizing a year-long series of events honoring Portsmouth's 375th founding, Klimm said. To view the group's Web site, click here

7:50 — Klimm says the town has three options to fix the wind turbine: replace gearbox with all costs, bring in outside experts or, thirdly, pursue a private sector initiative. 

7:55 — The town recieved 62 applications for the open position of fire chief, with only 13 applications from Rhode Island. 

Council doesn't bite on mosquito discussion 

8 — Klimm and David Kehew spoke out about . 

"We should at least have enough of a discussion so the citizens understand we are trying to do as much as we can do," Jim Seveney says. "I understand the is not a EEE mosquito that people get infected with," Liz Pedro said. "I don't want people to start panicking." 

Judi Staven said the council was "off the agenda." Keith Hamilton motioned to put the item on the next meeting agenda. 

Council hears options to fix wind turbine

8:17 — Finance Director David Faucher says rotor and blades have to be removed for two options to fix gearbox. The town has the option to purchase two gearboxes to save costs. 

8:18 — Hamilton motions to table issue until the next meeting. Council votes to table. 

Council approves funds for Lower Glen Farm project

8:22 — David Gleason asks council for $250,000 for Lower Glen Farm project.

8:35 — Hamilton motions to approve the $250,000 and an additional $50,000 for the roof. "This project is long overdue," Pedro said. "This is from a bond the voters voted for." Council votes 7-0 to approve motion. 

8:45 — Paul Kesson motions to have town solicitor draft an ordinance about lighting in residential areas. The ordinance would prevent "nuisance" lighting from businesses on residential houses at night. 

8:49 — Klimm says he met with Clements' Market owner and attorney today about a complaint about an alleged "deviation from approval plans." 

9:03 — Council approves Torrey Equine Services, LLC, lease at Glen Farm. 

9:06 — Council approves contract with the Cardi Corp. for 2012 paving services. 

9:23 — Faucher proposes two changes to the town's pension plan. Hamilton motions to approve changes, excluding those to the civilian dispatchers and town administrator's plan. Council votes 7-0 to approve. 

9:35 — Council votes 7-0 to approve separate pension plan for town administrator. 

Council hears proposal for new fire academy

9:36 — Council hears plan for fire academy. Interim Fire Chief Michael Cranson spoke about creating a night "fire academy" in order to train new hires after retirements. Cranson says it will cost $15,000 to train eight people. Seveney motions to approve request. Cranson says the academy would become a prerequisite for hire. Staven questions the proposal. 

9:50 — Cranson explained how this would train the new firefighters before they were hired, saving the town money. 

10 p.m. — Council votes to place item on the next meeting agenda. 

John ("Anything But Sue") August 15, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Bill: Did you go to the meeting..? Just wondering.
Sandy McGee August 15, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Hi John! Sorry I didn't get to say hi back. I was a little busy.
Bill Carson August 15, 2012 at 02:27 AM
No, John ,I missed the wind turbine meeting about the economic limbo the town is in. There is no way to rectify or improve this situation.The project only looks to have a future of falling further into the hole This is very embarrassing for the wind turbine advocates who spent the last eight years going to cities and towns in Rhode Island and Massachusetts . No one wants to admit to incompetence that breeds more and more incompetence. Many cities and towns across the US are in the same situation as Portsmouth. The wind turbine contractors have the town in a box and they can't get out . Watch this short video about wind turbines and you'll get the picture: Trailer for movie Windfall http://firstrunfeatures.com/trailers_windfall.html
Miguel Santos August 15, 2012 at 05:33 PM
What's not appreciated about the wind turbine is that the Town purchased this model at an extremely low price from a Canadian manufacturer. The price was almost 1.25 million less than the next bidder, a reputable manufacturer from Europe. As with anything else in life you get what you pay for.
Bill Carson August 16, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Wind gusts lead to misalignment of the main shaft which destroys the front bearing and the gearbox. This is true in all gearbox driven turbines. Today insurance companies require wind turbine contractors write into the sale a gearbox change every five years . The industrial wind turbine industry is plagued with gearbox failures, which cause repair costs, lost energy production, and legal expenses. The Town of Portsmouth bought a commercial wind turbine and only looked at the positive information given and written to them by the wind turbine contractors. Now we see friends,relatives,politicians who have to look deep into the negative side of commercial wind. There are Town Council members who were convinced by wind advocates and reports given to them this was great project.The council members have to look at what is in front of them : A failed field test that the residents of Portsmouth have to pay for ! Portsmouth now will get involved in the secondary market replacing major components before every five years . Why else would they try and sell the town two gearbox units ?

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