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Program to look at windmills' impact on farm land

VAN HORNESVILLE - The towns of Stark and Warren have arranged for the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to present an informational program on windmills Dec. 19, exploring the pros and cons of wind turbine projects as they relate to the impact on agricultural land.

The program will be held at 7 p.m. in the Owen D. Young Central School auditorium in Van Hornesville and will feature a presentation by a representative from the department.
The evening will include a slide show depicting examples of the impacts windmills have on farmland and a discussion of the proper mitigation to minimize damage to the area's agricultural resources.

Community Energy has put forth a tentative proposal to build a series of 65-70 windmills in the towns of Stark and Warren. No exact sites have been targeted yet for the windmills, about half of which would be located in Stark and the other half in Warren.

Town of Stark officials recently held a public hearing on a local law that amends land use regulations within the town to provide additional regulations concerning windmills. The law sets up procedures for landowners to apply to have the structures built on their property, and also establishes restrictions involving such items as placement of wind turbines near homes and noise regulations.

Stark Supervisor Richard Bronner said officials wanted to put together an unbiased presentation on windmills.

“The town board scheduled this presentation because we wanted the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The program will be held at 7 p.m. in the Owen D. Young Central School auditorium in Van Hornesville and will feature a presentation by a representative from the department. 
 
The evening will include a slide show depicting examples of the impacts windmills have on farmland and a discussion of the proper mitigation to minimize damage to the area's agricultural resources.

Community Energy has put forth a tentative proposal to build a series of 65-70 windmills in the towns of Stark and Warren. No exact sites have been targeted yet for the windmills, about half of which would be located in Stark and the other half in Warren.

Town of Stark officials recently held a public hearing on a local law that amends land use regulations within the town to provide additional regulations concerning windmills. The law sets up procedures for landowners to apply to have the structures built on their property, and also establishes restrictions involving such items as placement of wind turbines near homes and noise regulations.

Stark Supervisor Richard Bronner said officials wanted to put together an unbiased presentation on windmills.

“The town board scheduled this presentation because we wanted the townspeople to hear about the issues from an independent source,” said Bronner. “We tried to find somebody who was neither an opponent or a proponent.”

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets has observed the construction of two wind farms in New York state and has identified several impacts to the agricultural resources that can occur as the result of such projects. The department has been sharing this information about the agricultural impacts during and after construction with landowners who are considering participating in future wind farm projects.

The department notes there are two types of agricultural impacts that result from the construction of wind farms on agricultural land. One impact is the permanent loss of productive land as a result of the installation of the access roads and turbine towers, as well as the facilities needed for the interconnection between the wind farm and an existing electric transmission line. The other is the damage to the soil resources in areas disturbed during construction. Both of these impacts can be minimized with proper planning and communication, according to the department.

A representative with the agriculture department was on hand earlier this year to present a similar forum in Little Falls, which focused in part on a proposed wind energy project in the towns of Fairfield and Norway. That project has raised a variety of concerns from several vocal opponents, who are worried about agricultural impacts along with noise and aesthetic issues.

Under a typical wind turbine project, companies lease out their land to property owners who receive a yearly rent payment and are also paid based on the kilowatts per hour that are generated by the windmill on their property. Companies also typically negotiate a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement with the towns involved, school district, and county.

Source: http://www.herkimertelegram...

DEC 13 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/673-program-to-look-at-windmills-impact-on-farm-land
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