Fair Haven seeks support for biomass project
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | April 24,2013
FAIR HAVEN — Town officials will try to gather local support for a proposed biomass power generator and pellet-manufacturing facility.
The Select Board recently discussed the direction it wants to take on Beaver Wood Energy’s plan to build the facility.
Beaver Wood has proposed a 29.5-megawatt, wood-fueled biomass plant and a pellet-manufacturing facility. The company recently entered into an agreement to build a 10-acre greenhouse complex and wholesale warehouse off Route 4.
The project has stalled for close to two years since it was submitted to the state Public Service Board, which would have to issue a certificate of public good before the facility could be built. Company officials recently said they are still pursuing the plan.
Select Board members decided last week to work on getting the support of Rutland area legislators and the Rutland Regional Planning Commission.
They will focus on the benefits not only to the town, but to the region.
“I think that’s where our emphasis should be,” Selectman Robert Richards said at a meeting last week. “I am not exactly sure why (RRPC is) not enthusiastic and why they would not see this as a boon for the country.”
Town Manager Herb Durfee said he has been receiving almost weekly emails from residents asking what is going on with the project and what the town is doing to move it forward.
“The concern is that I have not seen the degree of participation that was in the media in the last year,” Durfee said.
He asked for direction from the Select Board on how much work he should be doing to help the project.
Richards said the town continues to support the project, but he does not believe it’s in the best interest of the town to be picketing at the steps of the governor’s office.
Town officials want residents to understand they are working for the town’s interests, not Beaver Wood Energy’s.
“There is so much (pushing) we can do before we get to the point where anything we want is not looked at favorably,” Richards said.