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For the birds, not so far

Contrary to comments made Monday by Councilman-at-large Jacob Chicatelli, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has not indicated wind turbines will be taboo on east side property. ...At Monday night's work session, while members were debating the merits of various wind farm proposals, Chicatelli said he was told by a member of the state Division of Wildlife that turbines will never be erected on city-owned land because of bird migratory patterns in the area. Recently, Chicatelli said he learned the comment was made by someone from a federal - not state - wildlife agency.

ODNR says it has no problem with Conneaut's proposed wind farm

Contrary to comments made Monday by Councilman-at-large Jacob Chicatelli, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has not indicated wind turbines will be taboo on east side property.

Dave Scott, a wildlife program administrator with the ODNR's Division of Wildlife, said no such blanket determination exists regarding the Conneaut area, especially since no project has yet been developed.

At Monday night's work session, while members were debating the merits of various wind farm proposals, Chicatelli said he was told by a member of the state Division of Wildlife that turbines will never be erected on city-owned land because of bird migratory patterns in the area. Recently, Chicatelli said he learned the comment was made by someone from a federal - not state - wildlife agency.

"I was wrong and I apologize," he said.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is promoting renewable energy projects within the state, and the ODNR is ready to help, Scott said. "(The agency) will help evaluate any proposals that may have a potential impact on wildlife."

To that effect, the ODNR has prepared studies that categorize possible wildlife impact in various... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ODNR says it has no problem with Conneaut's proposed wind farm

Contrary to comments made Monday by Councilman-at-large Jacob Chicatelli, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has not indicated wind turbines will be taboo on east side property.

Dave Scott, a wildlife program administrator with the ODNR's Division of Wildlife, said no such blanket determination exists regarding the Conneaut area, especially since no project has yet been developed.

At Monday night's work session, while members were debating the merits of various wind farm proposals, Chicatelli said he was told by a member of the state Division of Wildlife that turbines will never be erected on city-owned land because of bird migratory patterns in the area. Recently, Chicatelli said he learned the comment was made by someone from a federal - not state - wildlife agency.

"I was wrong and I apologize," he said.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is promoting renewable energy projects within the state, and the ODNR is ready to help, Scott said. "(The agency) will help evaluate any proposals that may have a potential impact on wildlife."

To that effect, the ODNR has prepared studies that categorize possible wildlife impact in various parts of the state, Scott said. The guidelines are meant to help developers early in the process, he said.

Conneaut and other areas along Lake Erie are labeled "extensive concern," but that doesn't automatically disqualify those regions from any wind-related projects, Scott said. Instead, each serious proposal will be studied individually. If possible, alterations may be suggested that can salvage the project while protecting wildlife, he said.

City officials have been in contact with three different firms interested in a wind turbine farm on the city's east side. Land within the city-owned East Conneaut Industrial Park could be a part of the package.

A contract with SGR Site Associates that contains an option agreement for the park property was recently tabled by council for further review. The contract would pay the city $2,400 an acre for some 159 acres within the park.

Chicatelli's comment about the bird situation Monday night came during his passionate defense of the SGR contract. He believes council should approve the contract, believing it offers a more reliable source of revenue than the per-turbine lease arrangements suggested by other companies.

"I still stand by that opinion," he said.


Source: http://www.starbeacon.com/l...

OCT 25 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/17634-for-the-birds-not-so-far
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