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Bath prepares to put wind farms on hold

Bath town board members last week took the first step towards a moratorium on commercial wind farm developments, directing town attorney Jeffrey Squires to draw up a local law establishing a six-month ban on commercial wind turbines. The unanimous vote came one month after town Supervisor Fred Muller asked board members to consider a moratorium.

BATH - Bath town board members last week took the first step towards a moratorium on commercial wind farm developments, directing town attorney Jeffrey Squires to draw up a local law establishing a six-month ban on commercial wind turbines.

The unanimous vote came one month after town Supervisor Fred Muller asked board members to consider a moratorium. Councilmen last month, however, showed little enthusiasm for the measure.

That sentiment had changed by Monday's meeting. The four councilmen - Dean Kropp, Bill Glossick, Robin Lattmer and Albert Burns - joined Muller in unanimously authorizing Squires to draft the local law.

The moratorium would be established while a three-person committee studies land use regulations from other municipalities regulating the location of commercial wind turbines. That committee eventually will draft a local law regulating the location of any future commercial size wind turbines in the town.

So far, the committee has not held its first formal meeting. Lattimer, serving as chairman, said she has collected several sample municipal laws governing wind farms and distributed them to the other committee members. "We're not rushing into this," she said Monday.

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BATH - Bath town board members last week took the first step towards a moratorium on commercial wind farm developments, directing town attorney Jeffrey Squires to draw up a local law establishing a six-month ban on commercial wind turbines.

The unanimous vote came one month after town Supervisor Fred Muller asked board members to consider a moratorium. Councilmen last month, however, showed little enthusiasm for the measure.

That sentiment had changed by Monday's meeting. The four councilmen - Dean Kropp, Bill Glossick, Robin Lattmer and Albert Burns - joined Muller in unanimously authorizing Squires to draft the local law.

The moratorium would be established while a three-person committee studies land use regulations from other municipalities regulating the location of commercial wind turbines. That committee eventually will draft a local law regulating the location of any future commercial size wind turbines in the town.

So far, the committee has not held its first formal meeting. Lattimer, serving as chairman, said she has collected several sample municipal laws governing wind farms and distributed them to the other committee members. "We're not rushing into this," she said Monday.

The Town of Bath to date has not been identified as a suitable area for wind farm developments; improving wind turbine technology, however, could eventually mitigate the municipality's current drawbacks, Lattimer said.

Hal Bailey, a member of Lattimer's committee and chairman of the committee that developed a comprehensive development plan for the town, agreed.

"It's only a matter of time," Bailey said Monday, in reference to a future wind farm development.

While the local law is bound to focus on set back requirements for wind turbine towers, Bath highway Superintendent Pat Muller recommended a local law address wear and tear on municipal roads as a result of developments such as wind farms. Muller recommended the town consider hiring an engineering firm to assess the current condtion of town roads, establishing a baseline against future development.

Lattimer noted future projects could include largescale drilling for natural gas, as the Marcellus shale range passes through the Town of Bath and is a prime target for natural gas development.



Source: http://www.steubencourier.c...

JUN 14 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20829-bath-prepares-to-put-wind-farms-on-hold
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