Sunday, March 9, 2014
BENTON — The selectboard announced Monday night that it plans to have a special meeting once it receives the latest sound measurement reports from Central Maine Power about noise levels near the substation.
The board expects that report next week.
A representative of CMP notified the Benton code enforcement officer that the utility company expects to send out the latest results from Nov. 20 sound readings at residents’ homes. Once the members of the selectboard get the results, it will schedule a selectboard meeting two or three days later, as long as the schedule allows.
“There’s an urgency with this problem, and we want to address it as soon as we can,” said Selectwoman Melissa Patterson.
At that meeting, the board hopes to discuss CMP’s latest report with the public as well as CMP spokesman John Carroll and acoustical consult Warren Brown of EnRad Consulting.
The town is seeking independent sound measurement results from residences affected by a persistent humming or buzzing noise coming from a CMP substation off Albion Road. The selectboard has discussed the issue with Brown, but has yet to approve going through with an independent report until Brown receives all the information. Brown will be emailed the report once the town receives it, Patterson said.
About a dozen people living near the CMP substation have been bothered by the sound, which is a byproduct of the substation. The issue has been pestering residents since May, when the machine was first turned on.
Residents have called CMP to address the issue but said they have been met with delays and pushback. The ones affected don’t believe CMP is taking their concerns seriously, while the company is saying that solutions to potential problems like these take time.
CMP ran its first sound measurements in August at the site of the substation, which is about a half-mile from the intersection of Albion and East Benton roads, and came in below the night sound ordinance of 45 decibels. The company did another round of measurements at four residents’ properties on Nov. 20 and are awaiting the report.
Once the report is available, CMP indicated that it will want to be on the agenda at the following Selectboard meeting to talk about the latest readings.
“Once we get the report back and have the information, we’ll ask to be put on the agenda,” Carroll said on Thursday. ”We’re committed on going back when the results are in and talk to the residents and town about what is next. That will tell us what sort of issue there is, what the extent of the problem is.”