The Town Board voted 2-1 Monday night to postpone a vote on a proposed wind-turbine project until the end of the month.
Town Chairman Don Kittell voted against the extension, saying he was ready to make a decision on the project proposal by Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus. But the two supervisors agreed with the town attorney who suggested some more time would give lawyers from both the town and the company to hash out the specifics of the agreement.
The company wants a 30-year conditional use permit to allow them to place eight turbines – each 492 feet tall and operating at an optimal 2 to 3 megawatts – on land owned by four families.
At a three-hour public hearing last week, which drew more than 75 people, varying viewpoints on the project came forward. Many residents were concerned about decreasing property values, stray voltage, noise pollution and liability.
More than 100 residents offered a signed petition in which they asked the town to take more time to study the ramifications of the project.
“Glenmore has already done its best on a wind policy,” Kittell said. “We have two farms with turbines with no complaints.”
Kittell, who is in favor of the project, said he had personally checked out two wind turbines in the town for evidence of noise pollution and found none.
The state, which has mandated the use of alternative energy, limits municipalities in its regulation of these alternative energy sources.
But partly to appease residents’ concerns, a list of conditions was read at Monday’s meeting, some of which could become the terms of the permit.
Some of those conditions include:
# Payments to both the town and residents who live within a half-mile radius of the turbines.
# Regular inspections and review of engineering schematics.
# Permits from the state Department of Natural Resources and approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
# A way for residents to immediately submit complaints and have those complaints resolved.
# Maintaining high voltage areas according to the state’s electrical code.
Attorney Ed Ritger, who represents the company, says most of those conditions are reasonable.
“We’re talking about details now not just whether the project should go forward or not,” Ritger said.
By Malavika Jagannathan
6 March 2007
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