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Shade debates wind turbines  


By Patrick Buchnowski
The Tribune-Democrat

CAIRNBROOK – Residents in Shade Township – some pushing for approval of wind turbines and others determined to stop them – again spoke out at the township’s monthly meeting Thursday.

One man said he was hoping to generate income from leasing land for electricity-generating wind turbines.

“I bought property here 13 years ago,” resident Roger Irons said. “I wanted to put in windmills for my retirement.”

A representative from a looseknit organization “Save The Mountain” said the turbines would destroy wildlife habitat.

Supervisors said they will not pass a turbine ordinance without first hearing from the county planning commission.

The planning commission will review a draft of the township’s proposed ordinance before Shade will hold a public hearing, supervisors Chairman John A. Topka said Thursday.

“We’re not against windmills,” Topka said. “We just want to be able to regulate them.”

Separately at Thursday’s meeting, other residents said they feared losing the township police if it merges with Conemaugh Township.

The municipalities recently began discussion about the merger but details have not been hammered out.

Conemaugh police Chief Howard Jackson assured residents they will have 24-hour police coverage.

“We’ll have an office here,” Jackson said. “The goal is to merge police departments to improve our service to the community.”

No Shade Township police officer is expected to lose his job once the departments merge, he said.

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