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County officials tour Pa. wind farm; Trip informative, commissioners say

The Allegany County commissioners returned from a trip to Somerset County in Pennsylvania with a little more insight in terms of wind turbines. Commissioners Dale Lewis and Robert Hutcheson said Thursday the visit was very informative.

CUMBERLAND - The Allegany County commissioners returned from a trip to Somerset County in Pennsylvania with a little more insight in terms of wind turbines.

Commissioners Dale Lewis and Robert Hutcheson said Thursday the visit was very informative.

"I felt it was a very worthwhile trip, I'm glad we went. I think we learned a lot, some we did know some we did not know," Hutcheson said. "One thing I want to make sure we have is something to cover the ground water for protection. People have wells on the (proposed wind turbine) properties."

Lewis said visiting a wind farm was a very good experience for the elected officials. Being able to talk to the farm owner allowed the commissioners to learn more about the turbines and if there have been problems with the turbines.

Lewis said he asked Somerset County's commissioners about jobs generated by the wind farm and was told there are about 10 to 15 jobs paying between $18 to $20 per hour plus benefits for those servicing the turbines.

"So I thought it was a well worthwhile trip," Lewis said. "But I think our language should address some concerns we have and security issues."

Lewis said there should be locks on the turbines as well as signage... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

CUMBERLAND - The Allegany County commissioners returned from a trip to Somerset County in Pennsylvania with a little more insight in terms of wind turbines.

Commissioners Dale Lewis and Robert Hutcheson said Thursday the visit was very informative.

"I felt it was a very worthwhile trip, I'm glad we went. I think we learned a lot, some we did know some we did not know," Hutcheson said. "One thing I want to make sure we have is something to cover the ground water for protection. People have wells on the (proposed wind turbine) properties."

Lewis said visiting a wind farm was a very good experience for the elected officials. Being able to talk to the farm owner allowed the commissioners to learn more about the turbines and if there have been problems with the turbines.

Lewis said he asked Somerset County's commissioners about jobs generated by the wind farm and was told there are about 10 to 15 jobs paying between $18 to $20 per hour plus benefits for those servicing the turbines.

"So I thought it was a well worthwhile trip," Lewis said. "But I think our language should address some concerns we have and security issues."

Lewis said there should be locks on the turbines as well as signage stating there is potential for danger in wind farm areas.

President Jim Stakem said his biggest concern is the de-commissioning but liked what he saw and heard Somerset County was doing.

"The developers are required to contract with a qualified engineer every five years regarding the cost to remove the structures. Then a bond is put in place representing the current cost," Stakem said. "The one thing I want to make sure of ... we need to protect the people of Allegany County, if this goes forward, to have some way to take these down without any cost to taxpayers. And that's my big sticking point."

There are 88 existing wind turbines in Somerset County. Eighty-five more are approved but not yet constructed.


Source: http://www.times-news.com/l...

APR 16 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19861-county-officials-tour-pa-wind-farm-trip-informative-commissioners-say
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