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Land swap seen as key to better communications

Also on Monday night's agenda is a resolution to introduce a law that would not allow property tax exemptions on land used for solar or wind energy systems or for farm waste energy systems.

WATKINS GLEN - Emergency services communications in Schuyler County would be a step closer to significant improvement if lawmakers agree to a land swap with the state when they meet in a monthly session Monday night.


County legislators are being asked to approve trading 50 acres of county forest land for five acres of state land, on which the county would build an emergency services radio tower. All of the property is in the town of Orange.

County Administrator Timothy O'Hearn said after Wednesday's Resolution Review Committee meeting that the swap would benefit county residents.

"The land that we have in Orange is reforested land that has very little value to the county," O'Hearn said.

The value of the five acres in the Sugar Hill State Reforestation Area is being able to increase emergency services' radio coverage in hilly Schuyler County.

Some fire departments have problems with coverage, said Rick Churches, deputy director of Emergency Management Services. Some areas get very little coverage or none.

Fire departments, ambulance personnel and law enforcement agencies have been working for years to improve radio coverage in the county.

Churches, deputy director of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

WATKINS GLEN - Emergency services communications in Schuyler County would be a step closer to significant improvement if lawmakers agree to a land swap with the state when they meet in a monthly session Monday night.


County legislators are being asked to approve trading 50 acres of county forest land for five acres of state land, on which the county would build an emergency services radio tower. All of the property is in the town of Orange.

County Administrator Timothy O'Hearn said after Wednesday's Resolution Review Committee meeting that the swap would benefit county residents.

"The land that we have in Orange is reforested land that has very little value to the county," O'Hearn said.

The value of the five acres in the Sugar Hill State Reforestation Area is being able to increase emergency services' radio coverage in hilly Schuyler County.

Some fire departments have problems with coverage, said Rick Churches, deputy director of Emergency Management Services. Some areas get very little coverage or none.

Fire departments, ambulance personnel and law enforcement agencies have been working for years to improve radio coverage in the county.

Churches, deputy director of Emergency Management Services, said improving pager services is especially important.

In addition, highway departments in the county would gain improved communications, he said.

The county has one radio tower, located on Terry Hill Road in Veteran, Chemung County.

An additional benefit to the county is that the state makes a small payment in lieu of property taxes on its forest land.

Also on Monday night's agenda is a resolution to introduce a law that would not allow property tax exemptions on land used for solar or wind energy systems or for farm waste energy systems.

The measure is prompted by a proposed wind power project that crosses the Schuyler-Steuben county line, falling in Orange and Hornby.

The county has had no discussions with Clipper Windpower Inc., which is considering the project on about 4,000 acres, O'Hearn said.

If a local law that prohibits tax exemptions for such projects is passed, developers still could work with the Schuyler County Industrial Development Agency to design a payment in lieu of taxes agreement that could help the developers while still maintaining some level of property taxes, O'Hearn said.

The resolution before legislators sets a public hearing on the proposal for 7 p.m. March 13.

The monthly meeting of the legislature will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the legislative chambers, County Office Building, Ninth Street in Watkins Glen.

Source: http://www.stargazette.com/...

FEB 9 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1293-land-swap-seen-as-key-to-better-communications
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