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Howard passes wind ordinance: Hartsville further addresses residents' concerns

The talk of wind turbine construction continued in two towns Wednesday night at the municipalities' respective board meetings.

The Howard town board unanimously approved a Wind Energy Facilities Law, while Hartsville, whose project is further along than Howard's, continued to address concerns raised by residents.

The Howard law does not accept or reject the proposed project, rather it puts limitations on what can be done if a wind farm is constructed.

“This is getting you in the game, and getting some control,” Doug Ward, who is representing EverPower, said. “We are talking about putting a law in place.”

Before the board passed the law, some residents voiced concern over the proposed project.

“When I walked out tonight it was quiet,” Jerry Hedman, a resident of Howard, said. “That's the way I want it to be.”

He added having a resource like Niagara Falls nearby and a non-renewable environment as reasons to keep the area of Howard as it is.
“I'm in favor of careful placement of wind towers,” Hedman said. “There needs to be careful, careful thought put into this.”

Donald Evia, town supervisor, said environmental impacts and other concerns are still down the road in the State Environmental Quality Review; the law is only to put some power in the town's hands.

“This puts something in place that has ability to grant... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The Howard town board unanimously approved a Wind Energy Facilities Law, while Hartsville, whose project is further along than Howard's, continued to address concerns raised by residents.

The Howard law does not accept or reject the proposed project, rather it puts limitations on what can be done if a wind farm is constructed.

“This is getting you in the game, and getting some control,” Doug Ward, who is representing EverPower, said. “We are talking about putting a law in place.”

Before the board passed the law, some residents voiced concern over the proposed project.

“When I walked out tonight it was quiet,” Jerry Hedman, a resident of Howard, said. “That's the way I want it to be.”

He added having a resource like Niagara Falls nearby and a non-renewable environment as reasons to keep the area of Howard as it is.
“I'm in favor of careful placement of wind towers,” Hedman said. “There needs to be careful, careful thought put into this.”

Donald Evia, town supervisor, said environmental impacts and other concerns are still down the road in the State Environmental Quality Review; the law is only to put some power in the town's hands.

“This puts something in place that has ability to grant approval to the project,” Evia said. “If we don't it can literally be taken out of our hands.

“A lot of things will be addressed in the SEQR process,” he added. “Anything like this has to go through it. That's a step down the road, we're not at that point yet.”

Another stage that is down the road would be choosing the lead agency. The town has the option of several entities, such as the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, or even the town itself.

Jim Sherron, Steuben County IDA executive director, said the IDA would financially assist the project only with the town's approval. If the town selected the IDA as the lead agency, the company would negotiate a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes for the town.

“My biggest fear is taxpayers in Howard get the short end of the stick,” Evia said. “My only concern is every penny that can get to Howard does.”

Kevin Sheen, EverPower vice president, said there is a possibility the company would make payments above and beyond the PILOT, such as to the fire district. The company is not done with negotiations with landowners, he added.

“At that point the economics becomes a lot more clear,” he said.
Information for Howard's proposed project can be viewed at http://www.everpower.com/projects_howard.html.

Amy Emerson, Hartsville town supervisor, said Airtricity, is putting the finishing touches on a Web site for the project. The site will include project events, planned events, a map of the area with the project outline and information about wind energy in general. The page also will have an e-mail address where the public can send questions.

The Hartsville board also decided to send out, by mail, notices to each landowner, as well as through various media for a planned revaluation of properties in the town.

That's a decision Steve Dombert, a town resident, felt should have been done with the wind farm project.

“I think they should have seen their way clear to send individual notices,” he said. “By contrast (with the revaluation) they should have.”

Emerson said Airtricity would notify the town if the total number of turbines exceeds 34. There will be approximately $125,000 per turbines set aside, with a inflationary clause, for decommissioning the turbines.

She added the company plans to have construction begin in 2007, with an interconnection to the grid in November of the same year.

Source: http://www.eveningtribune.c...

FEB 9 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1250-howard-passes-wind-ordinance-hartsville-further-addresses-residents-concerns
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