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Officials: Concerns over wind turbine construction ‘premature'

Officials from the Water and Sewer Commission and the Torrington-based Optiwind company say concerns over a wind turbine's construction in town are premature and unwarranted. The Planning and Zoning Commission is currently in the process of weighing whether or not to amend zoning regulations to allow for turbines in certain rural areas of town.

WINSTED - Officials from the Water and Sewer Commission and the Torrington-based Optiwind company say concerns over a wind turbine's construction in town are premature and unwarranted.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is currently in the process of weighing whether or not to amend zoning regulations to allow for turbines in certain rural areas of town. The application for the change was filed by Optiwind at the request of the Water and Sewer Commission, which is exploring the idea of a turbine at its Crystal Lake area water treatment facility as a cost-saving measure.

Stephen Vaill, who has served on the Water and Sewer Commission for nearly two decades, said the process is just that, exploratory, and that neither the town nor Optiwind has set any specific plans for a turbine at the site or anywhere else.

"We haven't even discussed anything with them," he said.

Vaill said he would certainly be open to wind power or anything else that would help the town save money, but that he would not be set on a wind turbine. The commission has explored water power potential at the Crystal Lake facility in the past, but determined it was simply not feasible.

"It's worth looking... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

WINSTED - Officials from the Water and Sewer Commission and the Torrington-based Optiwind company say concerns over a wind turbine's construction in town are premature and unwarranted.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is currently in the process of weighing whether or not to amend zoning regulations to allow for turbines in certain rural areas of town. The application for the change was filed by Optiwind at the request of the Water and Sewer Commission, which is exploring the idea of a turbine at its Crystal Lake area water treatment facility as a cost-saving measure.

Stephen Vaill, who has served on the Water and Sewer Commission for nearly two decades, said the process is just that, exploratory, and that neither the town nor Optiwind has set any specific plans for a turbine at the site or anywhere else.

"We haven't even discussed anything with them," he said.

Vaill said he would certainly be open to wind power or anything else that would help the town save money, but that he would not be set on a wind turbine. The commission has explored water power potential at the Crystal Lake facility in the past, but determined it was simply not feasible.

"It's worth looking into," he said. "It's a long-term return on your money."

The town's current budget proposal for next year includes around $110,000 for the Water Department, and around $165,000 for sewer expenses.

Vaill also responded to Selectman Michael Renzullo's contention that any eventual plan for a turbine would have to go through the recently formed Energy Commission for approval, saying that he is not aware of anything in the town's charter that would require such action. Renzullo has said he supports the idea of implementing clean and alternative energy sources in town, but is firmly against installing an Optiwind turbine, mostly for aesthetic reasons.

"He's entitled to his opinion," said Vaill, adding that in some cases, the benefits a large structure like a turbine provides can outweigh concerns over visual appeal.

"I've never seen a pretty smokestack or a pretty cell phone tower," he said.

David Hurwitt, Vice President of Marketing for Optiwind, said in an e-mail last week that there are no specific plans for a wind turbine, although they would likely apply for for a project should the regulations allow and the Water and Sewer Commission wish to move forward.

"This is not an Optiwind specific regulation - in fact the proposed regulation never mentions us at all," he said. "This is for the general application of wind turbines in town and I think it's important to keep the debate focused on this."


Source: http://registercitizen.com/...

MAY 3 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26057-officials-concerns-over-wind-turbine-construction-premature
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