LYONS – The town board voted last night to cooperate with a private company’s plans to assess the feasibility of building wind turbines here.
But the board stopped short of endorsing Empire State Wind Energy’s proposed resolution, which called for “substantive discussion” and cooperation to build projects that would benefit the community.
Town Attorney Anthony Villani said he found some of the language in that resolution problematic.
“What’s a substantive discussion?” he said. “I just don’t understand what it means. That’s what has me nervous.”
Keith Pitman, Empire State’s CEO, said earlier this month that the company needed a statement of support from the town before it could invest money in feasibility studies and open formal negotiations.
He said the Oneida-based company, backed by Tom Golisano, the billionaire founder of Paychex, plans to build only projects acceptable to residents and to return most of its profits to host communities.
Villani last night called the idea intriguing but noted that the financial aspect hasn’t been quantified.
He also suggested that the board adopt a local law opting the town out of a state law that exempts wind turbines from property taxes. Several councilmen said they were interested in doing so, and Villani said he would draw up such a law for them to discuss at their next meeting.
Adopting it would give the town a stronger negotiating position, he said.
By Jim Miller
Finger Lakes Times
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