The Cherry Valley town board has scheduled a special meeting and public hearing on the extension of a development moratorium.
The current moratorium, which was adopted to give the town a chance to put in place a local wind ordinance before Reunion Power submits its site plan application for its East Hill Wind Farm, is set to expire this week.
Supervisor Tom Garretson said Monday the board plans to hold the hearing next Tues., Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. in the town barn. The meeting and hearing will be right before the town planning board meeting at 7:30 p.m.
Garretson said he expects the board will vote on the extension immediately following the hearing. The extension will keep the moratorium in place until Jan. 1, 2007. The supervisor said he doesn’t expect any controversy over the extension.
“It should be fine,” he said.
The town council also scheduled a public hearing on the revised local wind ordinance. Last week, officials reviewed the changes to the local law suggested by the town attorney. Those changes, Garretson said, were primarily an effort to clean up the language of the law.
Garretson said comment from the public will be limited to the revisions to the law approved by the town board last week. The public hearing notice does not specifically state that limitation, but the supervisor said he will make it clear at the beginning of the hearing.
He does not anticipate a vote on the wind ordinance until December. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
“We won’t vote on it after the public hearing,” he said.
In other business during last week’s meeting:
the town board adopted the 2007 budget which totals $1.35 million and will increase the tax levy by 5.6 percent.
the board listened to a letter from town resident Barbra Perry, who believes Garreston should recuse himself from any votes or discussion of wind energy.
Perry is pro-wind energy and owns land targeted by Reunion Power for its East Hill wind turbine facility.
In her letter, she accuses Garretson of flip-flopping on the wind turbine issue and caving in to outside pressure from Senator James Seward. She said she believes Garretson’s employment at the New York State Historical Association raises conflict of interest concerns. Jane Forbes Clark is a contributor to Seward, who has “actively opposed a wind project in cherry Valley by sponsoring a bill to prohibit it,” she wrote in the letter.
Perry said Garretson has “championed a wind ordinance that has no basis in science or precedent” and has denied the people a Cherry Valley their first amendment right to petition their government.
“These are but a few examples of the questionable judgment you have exhibited that give the Âappearance of impropriety’ to your performance as supervisor of the town of Cherry Valley. Could they be the result of the outside influences of your employer and our state senator?” the letter stated.
Perry then called for Garretson to recuse himself from any vote that is taken on wind energy.
Garreston did not comment on the letter during the meeting and declined to do so on Monday. He did say he has no intention of recusing himself.
By Jim Austin
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