Rockport voters support regulating fireworks and solar farms, elect Budget Committee members

Tue, 11/03/2020 - 11:15pm

    ROCKPORT — Voting 1,473 to 991, Rockport citizens endorsed a nonbinding fireworks ordinance to regulate the use of consumer fireworks.

    They also voted 1,871 to 561 in favor of a new Solar Farm Ordinance.

    And, from a long list of Budget Committee candidates, they elected Robert Duke, Jr., with 628 votes, and Desmond Fitzgerald, with 544 votes, to serve two-year terms, and Hannah Demmons, at 322 votes, for a one-year term.

    The Solar Farm Ordinance was created by the Ordinance Review Committee in response to solar farm projects that were proposed and approved in Rockport recently. These solar farm projects were required to be reviewed by the Planning Board, but the Town does not currently have any standards that are specific to solar farms. This ordinance puts standards in place for solar farms to ensure that they are allowed in Rockport, but are also sited well, protect neighboring properties, and have appropriate end-of-life requirements for disassembly among other requirements. This ordinance will be in effect on January 1, 2021.

    Article 3: Shall an Ordinance entitled “Town of Rockport Ordinance to Regulate the Use of Consumer Fireworks” be enacted?

    Fireworks ordinance: In 2019, a resident approached the Select Board with a complaint about the use of consumer fireworks, and subsequently circulated a petition to ban consumer fireworks. (Read: Rockport considers municipal fireworks policy, hears resident complaint)

    The petition submitted did not meet the legally required language needed to implement an ordinance to ban the use of fireworks. It did have 124 signatures of registered voters. The Select Board decided to place a non-binding question on the Annual Town Meeting ballot asking voters if they supported a ban on consumer fireworks.

    Robert Duke also received 47 write-in votes for the Knox County Budget Committee. No one else stepped forward to run for that seat.

    Rockport voters also re-elected Dave Miramant as state senator with 1,552 votes, giving his opponent, Gordon Page 901 votes.

    They re-elected Vicki Doudera, who was running unopposed, with 1,907 votes to represent them in the Maine Legislature.

    With the presidential race, Rockport voters favored Joe Biden, with 1,694 votes; Donald Trump, 776 votes.

    And, they favored Sara Gideo, with 1,374 votes, over Susan Collins, 996 votes, for U.S. Senator.

    U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree earned their favor, with 1,723 votes over Jay Allen, 771 votes.