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City requests expansion of turbine area; Acreage more than double previous size  

The Altoona City Authority is asking Logan Township to enlarge its wind turbine zone by 775 acres, more than double the acreage expansion request the township turned down in May.

Authority General Manager Mark Perry presented supervisors last week with aerial maps showing the township’s wind zone and the authority’s land.

Perry asked for an expansion beyond the zone’s Route 36 northern border to include a portion of the authority’s land.

Supervisors made no immediate decision, but Chairman Frank Meloy asked if arrangements could be made to visit the site, and Perry said yes.

Meloy also suggested inviting a neutral party – such as a representative from the state Department of Community and Economic Development or the state Association of Township Supervisors – to the area to speak about wind turbines.

“We need to move it away from an emotional level,” Meloy said.

The building and the potential building of the electricity-generating wind turbines has drawn supporters and opponents who clash when discussing environmental and noise issues.

Supervisors attempted to get ahead of the issue by asking the planning commission to study and recommend a zone for wind turbines.

The strip-mined Chestnut Flats area on the western side of the township, bordered by Route 36 to the north and the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Site to the east, was designated in late 2006.

In April, representatives for Gamesa Energy asked township officials to consider adding 300 acres and to permit wind turbine construction closer to wetlands.

The planning commission and supervisors agreed to allow construction closer to wetlands but said no to the additional 300 acres.

“Now they’re asking you, as the property owner, to ask us,” Supervisor Jim Patterson told Perry.

“It’s likely the wind farm wouldn’t be feasible without this additional acreage,” Perry said.

Supervisor Jerry Fulare asked if wind turbines in the enlarged area would be visible from the Horseshoe Curve. Perry said he didn’t know.

Logan’s ordinance specifies that provision, which drew praise from the Blair County Planning Commission as a historic preservation measure.

By Kay Stephens
Staff Writer

Altoona Mirror

16 December 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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