Wind projects were the main subject of discussion at the recent meeting of the Beekmantown Town Council.
Members of the West Beekmantown Neighborhood Association were in attendance, along with residents interested in other town matters.
The meeting opened with a public hearing on a 10-month extension to the wind-power moratorium instituted by the town last year, which had expired in March.
The moratorium had been referred to the Clinton County Planning Board, but it didn’t have a quorum at its March meeting and couldn’t conduct business. Without the Planning Board’s comments, the town wasn’t able to approve the extension.
The purpose of the moratorium has been to give the town time to complete a local law regulating wind-power facilities.
Based on the recommendations of the Citizens Wind Advisory Committee, the Town Council can draft a local law. However, little progress has been made since the council received the document in February.
“There are no changes to the zoning,” Town Supervisor Dennis Relation said.
There are plans to alter the zoning law in the coming months. Town Attorney Joseph Lavorando suggested that the process include the Town Planning Board.
Relation would like to see something changed before the local law is drafted: the allowance of “essential services” that served to bring Windhorse Power’s farm into the residentially zoned area of Rand Hill.
“There’s a possibility that we may change that before a wind-energy law is made,” Relation said.
“There is the worry that something else, maybe not wind, (will come) that will affect the town.”
The matter was tabled until the April meeting.
However, Lavorando warned against letting the local wind law be forgotten.
“What I would be afraid of is setting aside the wind-energy law to care for the ‘essential services’ part of it,” he told the council. “You need to proceed on both, would be my recommendation.”
By Lucas Blaise
10 April 2007
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