Supervisor wants to study energy issue, Web access, comprehensive planning.
Scipio needs a few good men and women.
Supervisor Keith Batman is looking for town residents to serve on a committee concerning wind farms and wind energy.
At a recent town board meeting, a resident wondered if the town was moving too fast on the wind farm issue, stating more research was needed.
Shell WindEnergy Group is going to be putting up two to four temporary towers in Scipio to take wind measurements with the hopes of putting up a wind farm in the future.
Batman said the company has filed an application to put up the first test tower on Skillet Road between Wycoff Road and Route 34 in the northern part of the town. The temporary test towers will be about 100 feet tall.
“This is a complex issue with lots of ramifications for our town,” Batman said. “We have to research it carefully and understand it fully.”
The Scipio Town Board in December approved allowing Shell WindEnergy Group, of Houston, to put up the test towers. About 35 people attended a public hearing on the issue and no one voiced opposition to the measure, but nearly 20 questions were asked.
Batman said the wind farm issue is so important to the town and there are so many different stories, both pro and con, on the issue that he would like as many people as possible to work on it.
“There are many people with lots of abilities and knowledge in this community and I want to take advantage of it,” he said.
In addition to the wind farm issue, Batman said there are other concerns coming up in Scipio that will affect residents. He said bringing high-speed Internet to the town and finishing a comprehensive plan for planning and zoning are just two of the important issues facing residents.
He hopes to get people involved in not only the wind farm committee, but also in researching and helping with the Internet and comprehensive plan issues.
“We’ve been pretty stable in this town for many years,” Batman said. “We need to move deliberately with these issues.”
Most of the people who asked questions at December’s public hearing wanted to know about the wind farm project itself, which Shell WindEnergy Group is considering for a ridge just east of Route 34.
Kate Pacelli and David Miller, local consultants hired by Shell, said at that time that discussions about finances, noise and other benefits or detriments of the wind farm project are far in the future.
Batman agrees, but said the time is now to begin compiling all the information available.
“These are important times for the town. We have to get many voices talking, looking, thinking,” he said.
By Debra J. Groom
9 March 2008
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