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Wayne task force has uphill battle

LYONS – Members of the local Alternative Energy Task Force last night discussed some of the obstacles they may have to overcome to bring wind power to Wayne County.

About 30 people, including representatives from Arcadia, Lyons, Sodus, Walworth, Williamson and county government, attended the meeting at the Lyons Community Center.

Peg Churchill, director of Wayne County’s Industrial Development Agency, told the task force that forming a wind power authority would not be possible under state law. Some members had hoped to organize one to produce cheap power for county residents.

But, existing government agencies or private companies could still develop wind power, which proponents believe might lower residents’ taxes.

Terry VanStean of Lyons, who was elected task force chairman, said state laws prevent communities from determining their own destinies.
“I have a real problem with that,” he said. “We’re being shafted.”

The task force was originally formed under the auspices of the Lyons Chamber of Commerce, but it now operates independently. Also elected last night were Dennis Taber of Sodus, vice chair; and Mark DeCracker of Lyons, secretary.

“Our mission is to determine ways to deploy alternative energy solutions in Wayne County that will benefit our communities,” VanStean said, reading the task force’s mission statement. “Our goals... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
About 30 people, including representatives from Arcadia, Lyons, Sodus, Walworth, Williamson and county government, attended the meeting at the Lyons Community Center.

Peg Churchill, director of Wayne County’s Industrial Development Agency, told the task force that forming a wind power authority would not be possible under state law. Some members had hoped to organize one to produce cheap power for county residents.

But, existing government agencies or private companies could still develop wind power, which proponents believe might lower residents’ taxes.

Terry VanStean of Lyons, who was elected task force chairman, said state laws prevent communities from determining their own destinies.
“I have a real problem with that,” he said. “We’re being shafted.”

The task force was originally formed under the auspices of the Lyons Chamber of Commerce, but it now operates independently. Also elected last night were Dennis Taber of Sodus, vice chair; and Mark DeCracker of Lyons, secretary.

“Our mission is to determine ways to deploy alternative energy solutions in Wayne County that will benefit our communities,” VanStean said, reading the task force’s mission statement. “Our goals include reducing and controlling costs, fostering cooperation and promoting economic growth.”

Churchill and County Planning Director Sharon Lilla urged the task force to move cautiously and to carefully research laws governing alternative energy.

“I think this group has an awful lot of homework to do before inviting a developer in,” Lilla said.

Churchill said the IDA has been researching wind power and other alternative energies for years and that plans for an alternative energy industrial park are moving forward.

Task force members also discussed possible public opposition to their plans. Arcadia Supervisor Joe DeSanto said he’d received calls from people worried about the drawbacks of wind turbines.

Wind power opponents in other counties have called the turbines eyesores. They complain of noise, reflections from the blades and possible danger to flying birds.

Local wind power proponents believe those concerns are exaggerated. Taber, who said he’d visited Harbec Plastics on Route 104, which has a 130-foot wind turbine, noted it wasn’t noisy and its owners had never observed any of the problems that opponents associate with them.

The Harbec turbine, however, is smaller than many, some of which rise to 400 feet.

Task force members began dividing into committees last night to research legal issues and find out what entities in the county might be interested in pursuing wind power.

Among those in attendance were Williamson Supervisor and Board of Supervisors Chair James Hoffman, Lyons Councilman Earl Buchanan, Lyons Mayor Corrine Kleisle, and Walworth Supervisor Robert Plant.

Source: http://www.fltimes.com/Main...

FEB 14 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1317-wayne-task-force-has-uphill-battle
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