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Proposed Oxford power plant meets with vocal opposition

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OXFORD -- Oxford voters have turned down an amended agreement with a power company that would have brought more tax revenue to the town.

On Thursday night, more than 500 residents attended a special town meeting to vote on the agreements between the town and Competitive Power Venture Towantic. The company plans to build a power plant in town in 2016.

The plant itself wasn't up for debate on Thursday since it's already been approved, though many of the residents who voted against the agreements are also against the plant.

The amended agreements between CPV Towantic and Oxford were written after the company asked for more megawatts at the plant, and Oxford then asked the company for more money. The new agreement would have required CPV Towantic to pay $112 million in taxes to Oxford instead of the original $53 million over the next 22 years.

Residents who voted against this plan tell Fox CT they hope this will force the company to go back to the negotiating table with the town to ask for even higher taxes. It was unclear at the end of Thursday's meeting if that was a possibility. In previous meetings, the board had said a "no" vote would simply mean less money for the town.

Others hope there's still a way to keep the plant out of Oxford altogether. First Selectman George Temple says that can't be done.

The meeting lasted well over two hours and was chaotic. Residents in the audience constantly interrupted the person speaking, and the moderator was forced to repeatedly ask for order.

This meeting had been rescheduled after the crowd at the initial meeting on August 27 surpassed the capacity of the room at town hall, causing firefighters to shut it down.