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Meredith wind-law hearing likely June 25  

A final draft of a proposed law regulating wind-power projects was reached during the final joint meeting of the Meredith Town Board and Meredith Planning Board on Monday, Supervisor Frank Bachler said Tuesday.

The two boards have disagreed in previous meetings on matters including the use of property setbacks for industrial turbines.

“The meeting went pretty well,” Bachler said. “We made some minor changes and ended up with a pretty decent law.”

Bachler said the boards had a good discussion about the proposed ordinance in front of about 75 residents who were split between pro- and anti-wind sentiments.

The next step to adopt the law will take place at the regular Town Board meeting June 12, when the board will schedule a public hearing.

Bachler said he anticipates the hearing will be June 25 in the supervisor’s room at the Sen. Charles Cook County Office Building in Delhi.

Meredith’s moratorium on wind-power projects expires July 11.

The Town Board rejected the Meredith Planning Board’s proposed wind-power regulations at a joint meeting April 23, Keitha Copouya, Planning Board chairwoman, said previously.

Bachler said the board directed Rosemary Nichols, town attorney, and Nicole Franzese, county planning director, to remove proposed setbacks from the regulations and replace them with performance standards for wind companies.

Bachler said he offered to put some of the setbacks back in Monday, but Nichols said if the setbacks were reinstated, the performance standards would have to be removed.

At a May 14 joint board meeting, Nichols went through the 33-page draft ordinance, outlining changes from the previous draft submitted by the Planning Board, Bachler said. Most of the original draft is included in the law, he said.

“It is quite restrictive,” Bachler said. “It’s a comprehensive document.”

Bob Rosen, Alliance for Meredith spokesman, said it took the town board three hours to decide not to make substantial changes to proposed wind regulations.

He said the Alliance is concerned about the provision for an appointed board of two Town Board members, two Planning Board members and three Meredith residents who will have the power to grant wind companies waivers, even over the objections of property owners. The potential for abuse is upsetting, he said.

Copouya said previously the Planning Board researched industrial-scale turbines and found the biggest concerns are noise, shadow flicker from the moving blades, and the distance ice or pieces of the blades can be thrown.

The concerns are usually dealt with by using setbacks from properties and homes, Copouya said. The proposed setbacks were 2,500 feet from homes and 1,600 feet from property lines.

Rosen said the Alliance is recruiting candidates to oppose members of the Town Board in the November general election.

“The best option we have is the democratic process,” he said.

By Patricia Breakey

Delhi News Bureau

The Daily Star

6 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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