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Turbine issue blows into courthouse  

It took 37 hours for the wind turbine discussion to blow from the Potter County Planning Commission meeting to the board of commissioners.

For over a year, the planning commission discussed the restrictions that would be placed on the turbines. The amendments were passed Tuesday night and final copy needs to be reviewed before making its way to the courthouse.

Otto Orszagh told the commissioners he had concerns about noise, shadow flicker, aesthetics and other potential negative impacts of wind turbines.

As the Ulysses Township tax assessor, Orszagh said he believes local governments should demand substantial tax revenue from having the turbines within their municipality.

Orszagh presented the commissioners with figures from Eagle, N.Y., in which the turbines were assessed at $218,000 each. The town also received $8,863 per megawatt per turbine, and the school district and county shared $3,313 per megawatt as payment in lieu of taxes.

“People not participating need to get something,” even if it is a one-time payment for the visual disturbance, he said.

The board did not discuss the turbines during the meeting.

Commissioner Susan Kefover reported that a potential buyer is trying to secure funding to buy Drake’s Personal Care Home in Galeton.

She said the commissioners hope the residents won’t have to move.

“Every day is precious as we move to complete the process,” Kefover added.

Sandra Lewis, director of voter registration and elections, reported that public demonstrations of voting machines have been set from 6 to 8 p.m. March 20 in the Northern Potter High School cafeteria and from 6 to 8 p.m. March 26 in the cafeteria at the Austin Area School. Demonstrations in other towns were still being set up, Lewis said.

Tom Jacoby, an Allegany Township supervisor and employee of the Pa. Dept. of Transportation, was appointed to a seat on the Northcentral Pa., Regional Planning and Development Commission board of directors, a volunteer position.Thecounty is still lacking the voice of an industrial representative on the NCPRPDC.

The commissioners approved a lease agreement with Charles Cole Memorial Hospital for the offices of Magisterial District Justice Barbara Easton, located in the Hewitt Manor Building in Shinglehouse. The lease runs through May 31, 2010, with a rent of $400 per month, utilities included.

A maintenance agreement with Karpinski’s Office Systems was approved through March 2009. A flat rate of $79 per machine plus parts and supplies will be charged for copiers, and a flat rate of $49 per machine plus parts and supplies will be charged for typewriters, fax machines and printers. The figures represent no cost increase over the previous contract.

The board approved an agreement between Human Services and attorney Thomas R. Shaffer for a $10,200 annual fee. The fee did not increase.

The county also accepted a maintenance contract with Schindler Elevator Corporation for preventative maintenance and repair service to the elevator in the F.W. Gunzburger County Annex at a monthly cost of $162.

The Salary Board approved management raises of 3.5 percent for 2008. County Solicitor Bruce Cahilly’s salary did not follow the 3.5 percent, instead increasing from $39,205 to $44,416.

Commissioner Doug Morley said that the new salary is reasonable. “The salary is a representation of the work being done,” he added.

Before adjourning, the board pointed out that town meetings with be at 7 p.m. April 7 at the high school in Austin and April 22 at the high school in Coudersport. Meetings are also being scheduled for other towns.

By Travis Moshier

Endeavor News

15 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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