Oxford residents vote down power plant proposal

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OXFORD — Thursday was the last chance for residents in Oxford to weigh in on a tax deal for the power plant coming to town, and they decided to vote against it.

Officials urged folks to vote, and really educate themselves on the tax plan, but it didn’t make the cut. The question is whether to accept a tax stabilization agreement between the Town of Oxford and Competitive Power Ventures Towantic. CPV Towantic plans to build a natural gas power plant open by 2018.

The vote was 1,182 no votes to 1,114 yes votes.

Since the plant was first announced, a battle has ensued, and has been played out at a series of meetings between residents and CPV Towanitc and the Department  of Energy and Environmental Protection. The agencies have solicited public comment and opinion, and many spoke out saying they didn’t want the plant for environmental and air quality concerns.

CPV Towantic calls its plant one of the cleanest, and  that it reduces air emissions by lessening the need for other plants that use coal.

After months of meetings the tax agreement was approved back in December by the Oxford Board of Selectman. Under the agreement CPV Towantic would pay the town $112 million over the next 22 years in lieu of taxes.