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CV board to vote on wind-turbine law  

A proposed ordinance to regulate how wind farms in Cherry Valley will operate is on the agenda for Thursday night’s Cherry Valley Town Board meeting, town Supervisor Tom Garretson said Monday.

“We intend to vote on it,” he said.

The ordinance was crafted by the town’s planning board and has been revised by the town board.

The original bill was criticized by Reunion Power, which has proposed erecting 24 wind turbines on a ridge east of the village of Cherry Valley.

Company officials have said the proposed law is too restrictive, and changes made by the town board have not addressed the company’s objections.

At issue in the proposed law are setbacks and maximum allowed noise levels. The law stipulates that turbines would have to be at least 2,000 feet from the nearest off-site residence, school or church, and 1,200 feet from the nearest lot line. It also calls for noise levels to be less than six decibels higher than ambient levels at lot lines.

At a public hearing earlier this year, the proposed law, with its restrictions, was strongly supported by most speakers, and the town has received many letters of support for the proposed ordinance.

However, a petition calling for the contentious items in the law to be amended, signed by more than 150 town residents, also was delivered to the three-member town board.

Reunion Power, based in Manchester, Vt., estimates its project will cost $100 million to build and has proposed paying at least $300,000 a year in lieu of taxes if it goes forward.

The proposed payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement has provisions for increasing that amount if the wind farm is highly productive, and the company estimates it will contribute about $350,000 per year to the town, county and possibly to Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School.

Opponents to the project, who have in general supported the proposed wind ordinance, have said the project would scar the hillsides, reduce property values and endanger health.

They have suggested the town would be better served by operating its own less massive turbines.

Garretson said the meeting will start at 7 p.m.

Cooperstown News Bureau


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