2005 November 25
by Marie Jones Holmes
A second petition calling for a referendum vote for Robbinston residents on a proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and related facilities in the Mill Cove area was presented November 17 to Robbinston Town Clerk Pam Reynolds. Michael Footer, who gathered many of the 195 names, says he believes most of the people signing the petition support the Downeast LNG project. He says there were a few people who signed both petitions.
The first petition calling for a referendum vote was presented on November 5 to Reynolds by Robbinston resident Richard Berry. The first petition was signed by 77 voters. The petition asks that the vote be held no sooner than 45 days after the completion of an independent impact study being conducted by Yellow Wood Associates in collaboration with the St. Croix Estuary Project, in order that Robbinston voters are allowed to study the report and make an informed choice. The vote would most likely take place in the spring.
Yellow Wood Associates of St. Albans, Vt., the group which conducted the Harpswell LNG study, will be conducting an economic and environmental study dealing with all of the proposed LNG sites in Passamaquoddy Bay from Lubec to Calais. The St. Croix Estuary Project is a Canadian community-based organization promoting the wise management of the St. Croix estuary area and its resources.
Footer believes most people want to vote on the project soon. He suspects the first petition submitted to the clerk by Berry may be a delaying action on the part of some groups that are opposed to an LNG facility.
Robbinston First Selectman Tom Moholland says he will check with Maine Municipal Association concerning the submission of two petitions and the policy to follow in scheduling a vote for town residents. A total of 288 Robbinston voters cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election.