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Wind farm, sewage plan discussed

Township resident Gary Swope, who has expressed concerns about the impact of the turbines at past meetings, said he had given the supervisors a letter prior to the meeting listing some problems three residents in Somerset County have experienced. In one instance, a homeowner some 2,500 - 3,000 feet from a turbine said the noise at times was similar to a jet engine and added that 30y people in that area are concerned with the aesthetic impact that turbine have on the landscape. In a second instance, a woman who lives 1,300 feet from a turbine said she can hear the noise inside her closed house and that she has measured the noise level there at 55-65 decibels.

Two ongoing items occupied most of the Brady Township Supervisors' meeting Tuesday.

The first is the problem of how to reach a solution acceptable to both residents who are concerned about potential problems with industrial wind turbines and the company thato may build them.

Township resident Gary Swope, who has expressed concerns about the impact of the turbines at past meetings, said he had given the supervisors a letter prior to the meeting listing some problems three residents in Somerset County have experienced. In one instance, a homeowner some 2,500 - 3,000 feet from a turbine said the noise at times was similar to a jet engine and added that 30y people in that area are concerned with the aesthetic impact that turbine have on the landscape.

In a second instance, a woman who lives 1,300 feet from a turbine said she can hear the noise inside her closed house and that she has measured the noise level there at 55-65 decibels.

The third instance was from a family that has begun legal action against a company and who said that the sound at their home was similar to a helicopter or a jet taking off. Although he did not give the names of the people at the public meeting, Swope did give... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Two ongoing items occupied most of the Brady Township Supervisors' meeting Tuesday.

The first is the problem of how to reach a solution acceptable to both residents who are concerned about potential problems with industrial wind turbines and the company thato may build them.

Township resident Gary Swope, who has expressed concerns about the impact of the turbines at past meetings, said he had given the supervisors a letter prior to the meeting listing some problems three residents in Somerset County have experienced. In one instance, a homeowner some 2,500 - 3,000 feet from a turbine said the noise at times was similar to a jet engine and added that 30y people in that area are concerned with the aesthetic impact that turbine have on the landscape.

In a second instance, a woman who lives 1,300 feet from a turbine said she can hear the noise inside her closed house and that she has measured the noise level there at 55-65 decibels.

The third instance was from a family that has begun legal action against a company and who said that the sound at their home was similar to a helicopter or a jet taking off. Although he did not give the names of the people at the public meeting, Swope did give them to the supervisors.

Supervisor Darryl Beatty reminded Swope that the supervisors have an obligation to the township and said he wants to make clear that the board will not write an ordinance that is so restrictive as to make windmill operation impossible.

He cited a recent court ruling against a township for $7 million after it enacted an ordinance that made development impossible. Beatty said that if a Brady Township ordinance would be so restrictive that windmills could not be built, the same thing could happen, as well as actions by residents who would lose revenue if the project is abandoned.

Swope said he thinks a setback distance of 3,000 feet from non-participating (people who do not have a lease with the company) residences should be adopted.

Another resident, Gary Gilmore, said people who are non-participants need the protection of the longer setbacks, but Beatty reminded everyone that at a prior meeting, he asked a company representative if the project could continue with a setback greater that 1,250 feet and, the answer was a flat "No."

Supervisors Chairman Les Wachob said the ordinance will have to be a compromise and that not everyone, will get everything they want. He said an ordinance only takes about two weeks to become effective after it is passed and the board will continue in its effort to be fair to everyone.

The supervisors voted to send the ordinances it has, along with the model ordinance supplied by the state association, to its solicitor for further action.

The other item of interest was the adoption of the Act 537 sewage plan.

The plan, when it becomes reality, will provide municipal sewage service to some of the area in the township. Wilson Fisher, the consulting engineer for the project, provided details of the plan and answered questions.

Fisher said the design he will submit to the state Department of Environmental Protection will call for low pressure, small diameter pipe to be laid through the township with a grinder and pump at each home in the system. He said there are basically two options for the system's end point, one being to send the collected sewage to the Sykesville treatment plant.

Although that plant, as currently built, would not be large enough to handle the increased flow from Brady as well as an expansion in Jefferson County, it could be enlarged to handle the increase.

The other possible solution would be for Brady Township to build its own treatment plant. Fisher said one possible location would be off Salem Road. He and engineer Sherm Bloom had looked at that site.

Fisher estimates the cost of the project at around $5.8 million. He said that there are two sources for the money; PennVEST, which has money from the federal stimulus available or a direct federal source.

The cost to each resident would be determined by an ordinance the township would write later. Fisher said he would expect the hookup fee to be around $750 per house and the monthly, which will be set by the funding agency, would be in the neighborhood of $50 per month.

The first step is to get DEP approval for the engineering. Once that is secured, the next step would to be to design the system and put it out to bid.

When a resident asked about a timetable, Fisher said his most optimistic scene would be about a year and a half to start construction and about another year and a half to build the system. He added, though, that those would be under ideal conditions and that typically the approval, design and construction of a sewage system do not happen that fast.


Source: http://www.leader-vindicato...

SEP 11 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/22132-wind-farm-sewage-plan-discussed
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