Article

Town of Meredith likely to delay wind power - Planning board member resigns after company gives him building offer

The Meredith Town Board appears to want to slow down the drive for wind turbines for a year to allow time for the town to study the issue that has led to the resignation of a town official.

Meredith Town Supervisor Frank Bachler said the town board has discussed the wind-energy issue and is in agreement that a one-year moratorium on building wind turbines should be adopted.

Ron Bailey, a former member of the Meredith Planning Board, said he resigned his position after he was approached by Airtricity of Clifton Park to install a wind turbine on his property.

Meredith Town Clerk Betsy Clark said a public hearing will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Meredith Town Hall on Local Law No. 1 of 2006 — Temporary Moratorium on Building, Assembly and Installation of Commercially-operated Wind Energy Facilities.

According to the proposed law, the purpose of the moratorium is to "fulfill the town’s constitutional, statutory and legal obligations to protect the public health, welfare and safety of the citizens of the town of Meredith" and "to protect the value, use and enjoyment of property in the town and to allow the town board sufficient time to thoroughly study the issues involved in siting commercially-operated wind-energy facilities."

Keitha Copouya, Meredith Planning Board chairwoman, said the planning board asked the town board to adopt the one-year moratorium.

"The planning board said we... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Meredith Town Supervisor Frank Bachler said the town board has discussed the wind-energy issue and is in agreement that a one-year moratorium on building wind turbines should be adopted.
 
Ron Bailey, a former member of the Meredith Planning Board, said he resigned his position after he was approached by Airtricity of Clifton Park to install a wind turbine on his property.
 
Meredith Town Clerk Betsy Clark said a public hearing will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Meredith Town Hall on Local Law No. 1 of 2006 — Temporary Moratorium on Building, Assembly and Installation of Commercially-operated Wind Energy Facilities.
 
According to the proposed law, the purpose of the moratorium is to "fulfill the town’s constitutional, statutory and legal obligations to protect the public health, welfare and safety of the citizens of the town of Meredith" and "to protect the value, use and enjoyment of property in the town and to allow the town board sufficient time to thoroughly study the issues involved in siting commercially-operated wind-energy facilities."
 
Keitha Copouya, Meredith Planning Board chairwoman, said the planning board asked the town board to adopt the one-year moratorium.
 
"The planning board said we would like to have (a moratorium), and the town board agreed," Copouya said Tuesday. "We need a year to work on the regulations, and if for some reason we aren’t ready at the end of a year, we will ask for an extension.
 
"Once our regulations are in place, every wind tower erected would have to conform to the regulations, even if contracts have been signed in advance," Copouya said.
 
Bachler said Tuesday that "it’s a given" the town board will put the local law in place. The regularly scheduled town board meeting will follow the public hearing.
 
Copouya said the moratorium will not apply to wind-measurement towers or to small wind-energy systems designed for home or farm use.
 
Bailey said he resigned after the February planning board meeting when he said it was obvious that wind power was going to be a heated issue.
 
Bailey said initially he had hoped to remain on the board and recuse himself from any votes. However, he said he soon decided the topic was too controversial.
 
"I knew I would be a target," Bailey said. "I’m staying out of it. I have neighbors who are involved in it one way or another, and it’s going to be a sharp issue."
 
Bailey said wind power has potential benefits, but he also recognizes that a lot of people don’t want to have to look at 400-foot-tall wind turbines.
 
"I have very mixed emotions," Bailey continued. "A lot of my friends are strongly opposed, but my first reaction was that wind power is a way to help farmers survive. They can profit from wind and still use the land. But I lost some of my enthusiasm about having wind power in my own backyard because of the increasing controversy."
 
Bachler said previously that Airtricity, which is based in Ireland, had been offering contracts to landowners in Meredith. Bachler said his land is an area the company is interested in.
 
He also noted the potential income for farmers, increased taxes for the town and the idea of using a renewable resource to produce power.
 
Bachler said because he has been offered a land contract, he will recuse himself, but he will suggest the town adopt the wind-turbine construction moratorium.
 



Source: http://www.thedailystar.com...

MAR 8 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1583-town-of-meredith-likely-to-delay-wind-power-planning-board-member-resigns-after-company-gives-him-building-offer
back to top