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Wind legislation postponed


By Michelle King – Staff Writer

COHOCTON – In an effort to tighten legal enforcement regarding the construction of wind turbines, the Town of Cohocton decided to delay recommendations set by the planning board.

The decision was announced Tuesday at the town board meeting, according to Supervisor Jack Zigenfus.

“We need some more information from our attorneys (Albany-based Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP),” he said. “I just received the recommendations from the planning board late Friday afternoon, and by the time I got them to the board I didn’t have a chance to look at them.”

Originally, Local Law No. 1 on wind farm development was passed in 2005, he said. Since then, several suggestions have been implemented by the planning board.

“One of the biggest changes was the enforcement section for charging someone who violates the law from $250 to $1,000,” Zigenfus said.

In addition, the property insurance value section will be looked at. In September, the suggestions will be tabled during a special meeting set to take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at town hall. On that date, Zigenfus said there are a few options, including having a public hearing. After that, a town board would act on a motion to accept or reject it.

The board also may make changes and resubmit it to the planning board for further review. The other option would be to eliminate the suggestions in their entirety.

Zigenfus, however, does not believe the latter will be likely.

“I think it’s going to go through,” he said. “Everyone has worked so hard, and have taken bits and pieces of other towns … . We can always come out with a better wheel, and that’s basically what we’re trying to do. We want to have the best law.”

A proposed wind farm in Cohocton will be constructed by UPC Wind Partner LLC. It calls for 41 2-megawatt turbines. Each will stand about 403-feet high.

The area will encompass more than 5,775 acres. The construction is slated for spring of 2007, and may be completed as early as October 2007.