By adopting a new local law, the Albion Town Board will be able to form advisory committees on an “as need basis,” Supervisor Eugene Christopher said Monday evening.
The first committee formed will look into all aspects of wind energy, from its legalities of it to the aesthetics, said committee member William Coxeter.
“We’re going to look at the whole gamut,” he said. “Aside from that, I really don’t have any comment because we haven’t met yet.”
While the advisory committee will not be in a position to make policies, the members will be bringing issues before the town board during the course of their research, Christopher said.
The Town of Albion reinstated its wind energy moratorium for one year in March. The committee has been given a fall deadline in order to give the board time to make decisions regarding wind farms prior to putting the budget together at the end of the year, according to Christopher.
“We would like to have it wrapped up by September,” he said.
Aside from Coxeter, five other people have been named to the team that will research windmills, including Town Planning Board Chairman Jody Neal, town zoning board member Hugh Dudley, Town Code Enforcement Officer Duane Delamarter and residents Dale Davis and Kathleen Bates.
According to Councilwoman Judith Koehler, the committee should be made up of people with varying views on wind energy and that during a presentation earlier in the year by land use attorney Dan Spitzer of Hodgson Russ had suggested policy setting boards do a survey of the community to find the best people for an advisory committee.
“I don’t want to give the appearance to the community that we’re stacking the committee,” she said.
Koehler said if the town put a few additional people on the ad hoc board it could potentially increase the committee’s credibility as well as bring people out of the woodwork who have not taken on a role in government in the past.
“It might not hurt to run an ad to generate interest,” Councilman Timothy Neilans said.
The board decided that it would begin actively seeking three more people to fill the seats on the committee, bringing the membership to nine people so that there is an odd number for voting purposes within the group.
“My personal feeling is you don’t want to have a lot if you want to be effective as a group,” Dudley said, but was comfortable with the committee consisting of nine individuals.
By Miranda Vagg
24 April 2007
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