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Cohocton to receive $635,000 for roads as part of settlement with First Wind

After a month of negotiation, Cohocton town officials are expecting a settlement with wind developer First Wind to the tune of $635,000. The Cohocton town board gave a tentative OK to the agreement to fix up town roads damaged by construction equipment at Monday night's board meeting, but there are a few minor issues left to iron out, said town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus.

Atlanta, N.Y. -- After a month of negotiation, Cohocton town officials are expecting a settlement with wind developer First Wind to the tune of $635,000.

The Cohocton town board gave a tentative OK to the agreement to fix up town roads damaged by construction equipment at Monday night's board meeting, but there are a few minor issues left to iron out, said town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus.

"There's only a couple little things remaining to be ironed out," Zigenfus said. "Kind of ‘what if, down-the-road' things."

In the agreement, First Wind will pay the town $335,000 within 10 days of approval. The agreement also requires $100,000 annual payments from the company for the next three years.

The news comes a month to the day after the town threatened to take First Wind to court after a new round of construction at the 50 turbine locations scattered through the town. On May 15, town officials placed weight limit restrictions on several town roads that lead to the turbines and contacted its attorney to pursue some kind of action, even a trip to court if needed.

According to John Lamontagne, director of communications for First Wind, the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Atlanta, N.Y. --  After a month of negotiation, Cohocton town officials are expecting a settlement with wind developer First Wind to the tune of $635,000.

The Cohocton town board gave a tentative OK to the agreement to fix up town roads damaged by construction equipment at Monday night's board meeting, but there are a few minor issues left to iron out, said town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus.

"There's only a couple little things remaining to be ironed out," Zigenfus said. "Kind of ‘what if, down-the-road' things."

In the agreement, First Wind will pay the town $335,000 within 10 days of approval. The agreement also requires $100,000 annual payments from the company for the next three years.

The news comes a month to the day after the town threatened to take First Wind to court after a new round of construction at the 50 turbine locations scattered through the town. On May 15, town officials placed weight limit restrictions on several town roads that lead to the turbines and contacted its attorney to pursue some kind of action, even a trip to court if needed.

According to John Lamontagne, director of communications for First Wind, the company needs to reinforce all of the turbine blades after flaws were found in several of the turbines.

"It's progressing pretty smoothly," Lamontagne said, adding the work should wrap up by this fall.

The same work is being executed on the Steel Winds project in Lackawanna, Lamontagne said, adding the same problems were found in the identical turbines at the project. At least one turbine at the site is currently disassembled because of the work, being performed under warranty by Clipper Windpower.

The town threatened legal action over the work because heavy construction equipment like cranes need to be moved to every turbine site. Zigenfus said the town was not notified properly about the work and there was no plan in place to restore the roads after the work.

The agreement also includes provisions to coordinate town repair schedules with the company's maintenance schedules, as well as posting construction routes for company drivers to keep down congestion and limit damage.

"The trouble is a lot of the equipment trucks are from out of the area," Zigenfus said, adding many rely on GPS units to find their way around. Instead of taking the normal route, a GPS might suggest the driver take other routes not approved for the traffic.

Lamontagne said First Wind should sign off on the agreement in the next day or two.

"It will insure all the roads are safe," Lamontagne said, but added it will give the company access for the rest of the work and future maintenance.

First Wind has had to negotiate with local governments before to fix up roads.

Just days after breaking ground in 2007, Steuben County officials placed low weight limits on county roads used for the construction traffic. Within two weeks, the county had an agreement with then UPC Wind over the road work. First Wind will need to pay out more than $765,000 to repair two county roads in the town.


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

JUN 16 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20725-cohocton-to-receive-635-000-for-roads-as-part-of-settlement-with-first-wind
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