The Town of Scipio unanimously voted Wednesday night to amend its zoning law to allow a wind farm.
Nearly 30 town residents attended a public hearing of the town board to learn about a new law regulating temporary wind monitoring devices and establishing a wind monitoring permit.
A request by Shell WindEnergy Group, based in Houston, to amend the zoning law sparked the hearing. They needed to place at least three temporary anemometer towers near Hunter Road to measure wind velocity and direction before the company could determine the profitability of constructing wind turbines there. A 50-windmill wind farm could be in the works.
Locations for the towers, all about 1,200 feet high, are Townline, Rice, Carter, and Geiger roads.
“How does this benefit me as a landowner,” resident Mike Cardinale asked.
While the town would pay nothing for the 100-foot “met” towers, the landowners with “met” towers on their property would be locked into private agreements with Shell to have turbines built at the same site.
“If a turbine tower is put on your property,” said Charles Howell, town supervisor, “the money is fairly significant.
“The tax levy will decrease, and the tax base could increase by approximately 75 percent.”
The town would not receive any income from the electricity generated. Instead, the property owner would be paid by the company for allowing the 400-foot wind turbines to operate on his land.
“It will take approximately one year to run the test towers to check out the wind,” Howell said.
But it could take as long as three years.
For more, read Thursday’s Citizen
By: Kathleen Barran
26 December 2007
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