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Ellisburg opposes power line path for wind project  

ELLISBURG – Not there, please.

The Town Council added its voice to the discussion on the path of transmission lines from the Galloo Island Wind Project. The proposed path for the transmission line calls for it to make landfall in Henderson and run south through Ellisburg on its way to a bigger line in Parish.

At its meeting Thursday night, the council voted 4-0 for a resolution opposing the path through the town’s prime agricultural lands, but supporting any efforts to find a suitable site either east or west of the proposed path. Supervisor William H. Fulkerson could not attend the meeting.

The town does not have the power to stop such a line, but the council members felt that the town should be involved in the discussion. “Now is the time to act,” Councilman Douglas W. Shelmidine said. “It’s more appropriate for the company to move the line now than later on.”

During a period of public comment, Ellisburg farmer William E. Eastman said there are several farmers who do not want the transmission lines running through their property. He suggested a better route might be between Routes 193 and 3, where there is more state-owned land. Alternatively, the state also owns land along Interstate 81, which might also be a better route.

“Once we open the door and allow one line through, we’re more likely to get more lines,” Mr. Eastman said. “It would be better to find the least invasive route.”

In other business, the council commended Town Justice Peter C. Payne for securing a $5,494 grant from the Justice Court Assistance Program to purchase software, signs and other items to increase the security and efficiency of the court.

The software eliminates the need for buying forms and docket books, which will save the town some money. The software flags mistakes and is standardized across the state. It makes immediate reports of paid tickets to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The state will now know that a ticket has been paid within 48 hours. It used to take as long as six months.

“It makes us faster, more efficient, more professional and more organized,” Judge Payne said.

Without the steps the court is taking, it runs the risk of being left by the wayside. The state is considering a move to district courts, where violations in Ellisburg could be heard in Potsdam or Lowville. “I feel we need to be proactive and stay ahead of the game,” Judge Payne said. He is working on another grant application.

The council also passed a resolution honoring the service of William F. Chamberlain, who died Feb. 28. Mr. Chamberlain had been the town’s assessor from 1972 to 2002.

The council also recognized the service of Bruce Baldwin, who resigned from the Board of Assessment Review for health reasons. The council is seeking a new member for the board before the middle of April, when training is held.

By Nancy Madsen
Times Staff Writer

Watertown Daily Times

10 March 2008

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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