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Hamlin wind tower report delayed

A frustrated Hamlin Wind Tower Committee told the town board and town supervisor Monday night that more work must be done before anyone can decide whether to proceed with wind tower development in Hamlin.

The Committee was originally given until December to recommend whether wind turbine development is in the town’s best interest and to and propose regulations. Earlier this month committee members were told by town supervisor Dennis Roach that their deadline was being moved-up to July 30th.

As the Wind Tower Committee report was presented last night Chairperson Linda DeRue made it clear that the group ran-out of time to complete its charge. DeRue said that more time should be spent looking at health concerns, legal concerns, economic impact, environmental impact and other issues. She indicated that town residents should be surveyed, and town leaders should visit a community where wind towers are already part of the landscape.

The committee did present proposed regulations for wind tower development, in the event that the Town Board and the Supervisor decide that Wind Towers are in the town’s best interest.

The committee was applauded by citizens who have expressed concerns over property values, public health and other issues.

Supervisor Dennis Roach said that the committee’s timeline was shortened due to indications that the state may act soon to regulate wind tower development. Roach says the Town of Hamlin should maintain local control of such projects by enacting its own regulations before the state acts.

Roach thanked the Wind Tower Committee for its work and he said that the committee report will be used by the town going forward. He said public hearings will be scheduled before the town board decides whether to regulate wind tower development, or ban it from Hamlin.

By Walter Gabalski

WXXI

31 July 2007