The Town of Malone Council wants to be heard when it comes to wind tower ordinances in neighboring communities.
At Wednesday’s town board meeting, Councilman Jack Sullivan noted that Burke is working on an ordinance that would regulate wind tower development proposed for the town.
“The draft ordinance says towers have to be at least 1,320 feet from any house,” Sullivan said. “I don’t know where the towers are going to be located, but, theoretically, they could be one foot from the Malone town line.”
Though Burke has since changed the draft ordinance to extend the setback to 1,400 feet, Sullivan says Malone is hoping for more.
“We’d like to see a mile,” Sullivan said in an interview Sunday. “It’s based mostly on research from Europe. That’s a safe distance so you don’t get adverse health effects on people – migraine disorders or seizures in people who are susceptible to them.”
At Wednesday’s meeting, the town board agreed to send letters to the towns of Bellmont and Burke asking to be informed on progress with the towns’ respective wind ordinances and asking to be notified of any pending public hearings on the regulations.
The board previously sent a similar letter to the town of Brandon.
“I’d hate to see someone’s property value drop 20 to 50 percent, and, because they don’t live in the town with the towers, they would have no say,” Sullivan said. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s taking away someone’s property without due process.”
Deputy Town Supervisor Paul Walbridge said he knows of at least one individual – a town resident – who is concerned about a possible wind farm located in a neighboring town.
“He lives right on the town line,” Walbridge said. “He’s worried about what this could do to his property.”
Sullivan also noted Sunday that he is studying reports detailing the energy production of existing wind energy facilities.
“I’ve been working on production numbers from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,” he said. “The efficiencies of the ones that are in working order – like in the Tug Hill Plateau area – are very low – less than 25 percent.”
Sullivan said detailed reports – which he described as lengthy – are available on the FERC Web site at www.ferc.gov.
By Darcy Fargo
3 December 2007
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