The Lackawanna Planning and Development Board postponed action Wednesday evening on BQ Energy’s plans for the second phase of the Steel Winds power project on the former Bethlehem Steel property. The board plans to vote on it Oct. 3.
“We just received this,” said chairwoman Kathy Galanti, “and we haven’t had a chance to go through it. I’m sure we’re going to have some questions.”
The thick booklet of formal plans for Steel Winds II involves 11 more windmills in Lackawanna and five across the city line in the Town of Hamburg. Hamburg officials asked that Lackawanna planners reserve their decision until after Hamburg’s meeting on the project next Wednesday.
When both phases of Steel Winds are complete, there will be two parallel lines of windmills – 13 along the lakeshore, of which eight have been built, and 13 more inland, 2,000 feet away from Route 5. The land between the highway and the windmills would go for commercial and industrial development.
One question the board raised immediately involved overhead power lines. Project manager Mark B. Miskovski said overhead lines are necessary because BQ does not want to excavate in contaminated land on the site.
First Ward Councilwoman Andrea Haxton asked questions about the location of the second line of windmills and how much money the city will get from the project, but was rebuffed.
“The financial aspect is beyond the scope of this board,” Galanti said brusquely.
“Let me state I’m not against the wind farm,” Haxton said. “I just don’t want to impede future development.”
In other business, the board told chiropractor Tom Taylor to go back to the drawing board and get an architect to create a plan for the addition he wants to build to his offices at Ridge Road and Relich Avenue.
Board members delayed action on a site plan Taylor had drawn up.
One neighbor complained that the parking lot, proposed to be 8 feet higher than the yard next door, would give Taylor’s clients a direct view into his second-floor windows.
Another neighbor, Stacey Reimer, recounted how a large car in Taylor’s lot backed through a wooden rail last year.
“My children bailed out of the pool,” Reimer said, “and they haven’t been back in it since. I want to know what I can do to protect my children in my backyard.”
By Dale Anderson – News Staff Reporter
13 September 2007
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