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SCIDA a ‘firm believer' in wind: Hartsville board requires written questions to eliminate floor arguments

HARTSVILLE - Questions about the status of the wind power project in the Town of Hartsville dominated a special meeting Monday night.

James Sherron, Steuben County Industrial Development Agency executive director, was present to answer queries about the latest developments with a project proposed by Ireland-based Airtricity. He also told the board and public the SCIDA was open to any wind power project developed in the county.

“Our position is the IDA is a firm believer in the renewable portfolio standard,” Sherron said. “We are taking a lead role in renewable energy projects throughout the county.

“We certainly support the efforts of Airtricity, and we would support any other developer that would come into the area by offering the same financial assistance and be the lead agent if they so choose,” he added, “including a project by Mr. Golisano. What we're saying is we're not partial to one developer over another, and we will work with any developers that might be interested in developing a project.”

Sherron also addressed a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement the SCIDA is working out with Airtricity on behalf of Hartsville. There are several ways the town will receive money, he said, including PILOTs and other fees.

“Another fee will be directed toward the actual impact the town will feel,” Sherron said. “For example, in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

James Sherron, Steuben County Industrial Development Agency executive director, was present to answer queries about the latest developments with a project proposed by Ireland-based Airtricity. He also told the board and public the SCIDA was open to any wind power project developed in the county.
 
“Our position is the IDA is a firm believer in the renewable portfolio standard,” Sherron said. “We are taking a lead role in renewable energy projects throughout the county.
 
“We certainly support the efforts of Airtricity, and we would support any other developer that would come into the area by offering the same financial assistance and be the lead agent if they so choose,” he added, “including a project by Mr. Golisano. What we're saying is we're not partial to one developer over another, and we will work with any developers that might be interested in developing a project.”
 
Sherron also addressed a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement the SCIDA is working out with Airtricity on behalf of Hartsville. There are several ways the town will receive money, he said, including PILOTs and other fees.
 
“Another fee will be directed toward the actual impact the town will feel,” Sherron said. “For example, in Prattsburgh there is a road mitigation fee that has been negotiated between the town and developer where the town will receive $3,000 per year per tower.
 
“Our IDA board is very sensitive to the fact towns do face more of an impact than any of the other taxing entities,” he added. “We're trying to work on a concept of getting more money into the hands of the town to deal with that.”
 
Nothing has been finalized yet, Sherron said, but currently Hartsville is due to receive 11 percent of Airtricity's PILOT.
 
“The 11 percent is the portion as it stands now, and it does change yearly,” he said.
 
Other questions for Sherron came from the public, such as how much money would be coming to the town, and why the SCIDA doesn't negotiation a payment based on the actual electricity production. For the latter question, he said towns have not been favorable in the opinions about how much energy would actually be produced by the turbines.
 
The board instituted a new policy for public comment, requiring questions to be written down to be addressed. The reasoning, said Supervisor Amy Emerson in an e-mail, was to allow the town board to get business taken care of without lengthy periods of disruptive action. People have been speaking out of turn, she said, and all at once.
 
Hartsville resident Steve Dombert, an opponent of the Airtricity project and proponent of a community-based project, called the new policy a gag order at Monday's meeting.
 
This morning Councilman Gene Garrison agreed the new system of public comment is the way to go, adding it was devised after attending a recent Hornellsville town board meeting.
 
“We started the new system because the meetings are getting totally out of hand,” he said. “It's starting to turn into a Hatfield and McCoy's situation.
 
“It's not a question of a gag order; we went to a Hornellsville town board meeting and saw how efficient they ran their meeting,” he added. “They had people write things down, that's the way we feel our town board meetings will run from now on. There were just too many people jumping up and down, and we need a more orderly meeting.”
 
In addition to updates on the wind farm project, the board also discussed the upcoming revaluation. There will be a public hearing at 6 p.m. April 12 prior to the town board meeting.
 
“The town board has worked hard with our assessor to see this project finally become a reality,” Emerson said. “We will not let the importance of this project be overshadowed by current wind farm issues.
 
“Therefore I expect little or no wind issues to be on the agenda for the April meeting,” she added.


Source: http://www.eveningtribune.c...

MAR 28 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1922-scida-a-firm-believer-in-wind-hartsville-board-requires-written-questions-to-eliminate-floor-arguments
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