The first step in the possible establishment of a wind farm in Arkwright was taken Wednesday.
It came in the form of the town board accepting the required draft environmental impact statement prepared for the proposed New Grange Wind Farm.
This action took place at a special meeting held to consider the DEIS prepared for the project which is being developed by Horizon Wind Energy.
The meeting opened with comments from Supervisor Fred Norton, attorney Daniel Spitzer and engineer Robert Adams.
Spitzer said the document is the first step in the SEQR requirement and plays an important role in the project.
“It starts the public review of the applicant’s document; it’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with it. It provides information about each topic as required by law.
“The town board’s accepting the DAIS doesn’t mean anything regarding the final decision; clearly public input is important to the community,” Spitzes said.
Adams said he is responsible for providing the technical review of the DAIS and ensuring the document addresses all appropriate issues.
Horizon project manager Tom Stabbing said his company is looking forward to getting the DAIS out to the public.
Whether the public will be willing to read through the two notebooks that make up the document, including one that is approximately seven inches thick, is another question.
The town board is working its way through the document as is Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Fred Bret, who asked Adams if he could provide quality assurance regarding its accuracy.
“We need to avoid the public outcry or backlash that would arise, if there are questionable findings,” he said.
Adams said the report is accurate, meeting the various requirements and it contains necessary checks and balances.
Stabbing said a copy of the DEIS is available on-line at www.NewGrangeWind.com. Town clerk Janice Rundell said a public review of the DEIS can be made at her office, by appointment.
Public comments and questions on the document may be made by contacting Supervisor Norton at 8743 Center Road, Cassadaga, NY 14718; Stabbins at the New Grange web site or Adams at radams@CRAworld.com.
The town board set a public hearing on the DEIS for 7 p.m. on April 30.
Because a significant turn out is expected, the hearing will be held in the Arkwright Town Highway Barns, next to the town hall.
After the meeting, Norton said he thought it went very well.
“The attorney and the engineer laid out the future of the project,” he said.
Spitzes said the final decision on whether to go forward with the project lies solely with the town board.
“The board is responsible for giving an opinion on the DEIS and report whatever mitigation needs to be followed,” the attorney said.
By Joan Josephson
Observer Staff Writer
28 February 2008
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