The Planning Board will meet Wednesday night to discuss setting a date for a public hearing on a proposed bylaw regulating wind turbines.
Board Chairman Jamie Reinhardt said Monday that that was the only topic on the agenda.
“However, there may be some casual conversation about the proposed bylaw,” he said. “We’ve been beating ourselves over this for quite some time – now it’s time for us to get input from people.”
The five-turbine Minuteman Wind project, one of four wind turbine projects in the works for the Berkshires, is proposed to be built on more than 200 acres near the town’s border with Hawley. Once complete, it will provide electricity to an estimated 3,000 homes annually.
Reinhardt said the bylaw draft sets a height limit of 350 feet total for each turbine. The proposed height for the Minuteman wind towers is 420 feet.
“We want reaction from the community to see if they want the height higher or lower, and nothing about it is cast in stone,” he said. “We have to respect what we hear from the people so we can make a better judgment.”
Minuteman Wind LLC President Donald McCauley said he does not know if a company representative would be at Wednesday’s meeting because the company has not had any recent contact with the town.
“We’re not sure what is happening,” he said. “We have not heard anything from the town since we were at a (board) meeting in early September.”
McCauley said his company is anxious to begin work on the project, which has been on the drawing board for nearly three years.
“We’re still hoping to build it in the second half of next year,” he said. “All of our work indicates that the project is not going to have any detrimental effects on the town. The only impact will be on the visual impact.”
Reinhardt said the board has been working on a bylaw for more than two years, and that any bylaw would also address planning and safety concerns.
“We are trying to be as fair as possible with this, and we want to hear from people,” he said. “However, there is no way we can keep everyone pleased. That’s an impossible endeavor.”
The Planning Board will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
By Shaw Israel Izikson, North Adams Transcript
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