Letter: Peru still waiting for transparency
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
An Eagle story on Feb. 24 regarding the proposed industrial wind turbine project for Peru disclosed the involuntary dissolution of Lightship Energy LLC, the company requesting a special permit with waivers and variances. Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) member Samuel P. Haupt was quoted that the process would go forward "as transparent as possible." I’m sitting here, scratching my head, and trying to figure out exactly when any transparency occurred since I learned about the project last summer.
On July 8, 2013 a bylaw amendment proposed by Lightship was rejected, clearly indicating Peru does not want industrial wind. However, on Sept. 10 I was personally invited by William Golden of Lightship Energy LLC, along with only two or three other residents, to attend a meeting about the company’s plans to proceed with the project. I asked Mr. Golden why so few were invited, and he was unable to provide an honest answer. Was this transparency?
How about the meeting that Lightship held in town in October of 2013? It appears it only invited people who it understood to be on board with its project. What about the feasibility study completed in 2012 that was funded by MassCEC? We requested it and eventually received a redacted version. We requested an unredacted version months ago and are still waiting.
In November, 2013 we were invited to submit questions to Mr. Golden and were told he would return with written answers in two weeks. Months later nobody has seen or received any response from Mr. Golden. Is this more transparency? I see that Thomas Michelman, owner of Lightship, formed another company in April 2013 called Garnet Hill Wind, LLC. Garnet Hill Wind, LLC was created between Juwi Wind (a German firm with UD headquarters in Colorado) and Lightship Energy. Another "transparent" company similar to Lightship Energy, LLC perhaps?
At the ZBA meeting on March 19, we eagerly awaited an update since the last meeting occurred months ago on Dec. 18 of last year. However, we were informed that there would be no public participation: The meeting’s sole goal was to establish a fund to pay the consultant. I’m surprised that we could not get even a minutia of information about the project from the ZBA. In a perfect world the townspeople of Peru would have been updated along the way as to what has been happening with the permitting process with the developer.
However, we have no idea what is happening next or when. Mr. Haupt did defend Lightship by saying that delinquent or dissolved companies are typical and "not a concern." Interesting! We also found out that the town does not have a complete application from Lightship Energy. Really? Then what is the consultant reviewing?
At what point can I expect this so-called "transparency" to begin, because so far the entire process for this proposed wind turbine project has merely been a transparency fallacy!