Franklin Countys First News

Jay residents push forward after petition rejected

The Jay Selectboard.

JAY - After being presented with a 217-signature petition at Monday night's meeting, select persons rejected the request in a 2-2 vote with one board member abstaining. The petition asked that the town's stance on the New England Clean Energy Connect be put to a vote with a special town meeting, despite the board's previous support for the project. Selectpersons Gary McGrane and Chairperson Terry Bergeron voted in favor of the petition, while Tom Goding and Tim DeMillo opposed it. Selectperson Judy Diaz abstained from voting due to her involvement with a pro-NECEC commercial.

The NECEC project would create a 145-mile, Direct Current transmission line with 1,200 megawatt capacity that would link Canadian hydro power to the New England grid via a converter station in Lewiston. In Franklin County, new corridor would enter northern Franklin County in Beattie Township, passing through Lowelltown and Skinner Township before crossing into Somerset County to the east. When the line reentered Franklin County in Industry at the Starks town line, it would run within the existing transmission corridor through six municipalities: Industry, New Sharon, Farmington, Wilton, Chesterville and Jay. In total, the project would create 53 miles of new corridor in Maine. In addition to the 145-mile long DC line, there would be 44 miles of AC line improvements in southern Maine, as well as infrastructure installed at the Lewiston station.

A petition legally requires 10 percent of registered voters signatures based on the most recent gubernatorial elections, which came to 212 signatures needed. Resident Susan Theberge helped gather signatures of which she received 217.

"If the petition is legal and the wording is legal, it should be accepted. I can go to a notary and enforce it, or you can make the townspeople feel like you're listening to them," Theberge said to the board, following the vote.

Theberge stated after the meeting that she will move forward with enforcing the petition.

"This issue is not how you feel about the power line. The issue is how you feel about voter sentiment," Steve Bien said. "This is insulting to us."

Many of the people in the crowd of roughly 45, primarily residents of Jay, voiced their disappointment in the board for not accepting the petition. Some said they felt betrayed by those they elected to represent them, while others said they felt disregarded.

"We hired you to represent us. You work for us. It's your duty to represent the people of Jay who are overwhelmingly against this corridor," Tom White said.

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51 Responses »

  1. Wally Wally Wally,,, your confused.

    There are Many Groups opposing this corridor.
    They don't all even like reach other. They just share a common foe.
    The Grassroots group that is raising $5 bucks at a time is NOT in agreement with say Next-Era ( the wind turbine company), but they both oppose this project for very different reasons.
    This does not take away from the ideals that drive the Grassroots movement in any way.
    Yes the money "WE" raise is out in the open and not the dark money that is flowing from other opposition groups that can fight toe to toe with CMP financially.
    Funny to hear a supporter whining about money being spent considering the millions CMP is spending spreading their lies. It's understandable that the supporters are now surprised at the strength of the opposition,,but they would not have been surprised if they had bothered to listen to the people IN THE FIRST PLACE. "HELLO"..
    We will fight off Next-Era in the next round to save Maine from becoming like every other industrialized mess that these companies create.
    Yes, NIMBY.

    Why is the Governor (who is from Farmington, not Jay) sitting this when her own town reversed it's support??
    In my opinion she is immersed in this Green New Deal crap coming out of New York City and has made a very bad and costly decision going against the people in her home town and all across the state of Maine.
    Now her own legislature is going against her. She will be forced to veto many things to stop them. It's a fight she will lose in many ways politically. Unless she moves to NYC..
    Even the Massachusetts Attorney General is openly questionig the "green" value of this farce.

    The Tide Has Turned.
    They might be able to strong stem this thru but we're not afraid to stand up against this corruption.

    So,, keep trying to lump all the opposition groups together (that's what CMP wants you to say).
    But it's just "ANOTHER LIE".