The Meredith Town Board passed a law regulating industrial wind-power projects Tuesday despite protests from Supervisor Frank Bachler, Councilman Paul Menke and more than 800 people who signed a petition opposing the law.
At the last joint meeting between the Town Board and Planning Board, performance standards for interested wind companies were adopted instead of using property setbacks.
Bachler said he voted against the proposed law and gave his reasons for doing so, which included that the law needed more work.
Bachler said after a motion was made to approve the law, Menke offered a counter-motion to extend the town’s moratorium on wind-power projects.
Bachler said he seconded Menke’s motion but withdrew his second when it became obvious the other board members were not willing to reconsider.
The law passed by a vote of three to one, with Bachler voting “no” and Menke abstaining, citing a conflict of interest as a member of the board of directors of the Delaware County Electric Cooperative. Council members Pat Lynn, Marjorie Rockefeller and Roger Hamilton voted “yes.”
After a public hearing June 25 attended by more than 150 people, Bachler acknowledged revisions to the law needed to be made.
On Tuesday, Bachler said there were more than 60 people in attendance, and he again opened the floor for comments, most of which were opposed to the law as it was written.
Bachler said he favored requesting an extension of the town’s moratorium on wind-power projects to allow time to make some changes in the law.
Bob Rosen, Alliance for Meredith spokesman, said, “Frank made good on his pledge to vote against the ordinance as currently written,” citing David Hood’s comment at the June 25 public hearing that delaying passage until after the November election was the honorable thing to do.”
Rosen said Hood spoke eloquently at the public hearing and asked the town to extend the moratorium another six months or wait until after the November election to make a final decision.
Rosen added that Menke also deserved credit for his statement that “the election is a great way for everyone to have a voice about where they want to go in the town of Meredith.”
Bachler said after the law was adopted by the town board, Rosemary Nichols, town attorney, went through a Part 2 State Environmental Quality Review declaration and determined the local law did not have an environmental impact because there are no wind-power projects proposed or pending.
Meredith’s moratorium on wind-power projects expired July 11.
By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau
19 July 2007
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