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Supplemental impact statement on wind project available to public  

A supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Jordanville Wind Farm is complete, and now it’s off for another round of public review.

Written public comments on the proposal will be accepted through Dec. 15.

The project area encompasses more than 5,000 acres and calls for the construction of 68 wind turbines in the towns of Warren and Stark. The project includes the construction of access roads, underground collection lines and overhead transmission lines in addition to construction of staging areas and operational structures.

All written comments on the SDEIS should be addressed to: Bernard C. Melewski, special counsel, Ulasewicz, Melewski & Greenwood, LLP, 112 Spring St., Suite 307, Saratoga Springs 12866.

Copies of the SDEIS are available for review at the town of Warren clerk’s office, 383 Hogsback Road, Richfield Springs; the town of Stark clerk’s office, 207 Fiery Hill Road, Fort Plain; and the Jordanville Public Library, 189 Main St., Jordanville. Copies of the SDEIS can also be purchased in hard copy or CD format by contacting Melewski.

Community Energy, based in Wayne, Pa., released the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement in May. The studies conducted for the supplement have looked at social and economic factors as well as environmental effects.

The studies have included the second phase of a study investigating potential impacts to archeological sites and historic properties, a visual impact assessment, an additional acoustic study, a wetlands delineation report, and a hydrygeology study analyzing the potential to impact groundwater and wells at the site.

One of the issues examined in the hydrogeology study, at the request of the Department of Environmental Conservation, is what impact the project will have on the area’s karst topography, including the presence of sinkholes and underground limestone caves.

In addition, avian experts have been working on a raptor study to survey migrating hawks and eagles at the site. This study will be completed at the end of November with the report submitted in the Final Environmental Impact Study.

The project has also been scaled back somewhat, from an originally-proposed 75 towers to 68 due to landowner issues and concerns over wetlands protection.

The 136-megawatt Jordanville Wind Farm is expected to generate $6.3 million in wage and salary compensation paid to local workers during construction, generate around $800,000 in annual revenues for local governments and school districts, and have the capacity to provide the annual electric needs of more than 51,000 homes.

If the project is ultimately approved, construction would begin next spring and likely finish up next fall.

Meanwhile, negotiations for an agreement on tax exemptions for three wind power projects in Herkimer County including the one in Jordanville have been under way for nearly a year. Counties typically negotiate a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement for large businesses as a way to encourage creation of jobs.

In Jordanville, four taxing entities are involved in the negotiations: Owen D. Young Central School, Herkimer County, and the towns of Warren and Stark. The traditional PILOT structure would distribute 64 percent to the school, 22 percent to the county and the towns would share the remaining 14 percent, according to the number of turbines in each town. These percentages are determined by the percent of total property taxes each entity receives. The PILOT payment would be an annual payment for 15 years.

By Joe Parmon-Telegram Staff Writer

herkimertelegram.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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