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Hamlin residents debate wind farms  

Hamlin residents weighed in on the possibility of a wind farm going up in their town. It would be the first in Monroe County.

Town officials are proposing the turbines be set 1,200 feet from homes and 600 feed from the road. Many residents say they want them at least 1,700 feet back.

“In Europe, and they’ve had a whole lot more experience than we have, the distance is in many countries one mile,” said Hamlin resident Jerry Borkholder. “Now the interesting thing is that they started with the same setbacks that Hamlin is considering right now, but they moved gradually before they got to the point where they’re at a mile right now.”

The wind farm is proposed for the northwest corner of the town near the Orleans County line. Most of that area is farm land. However, some residents don’t want turbines anywhere in the town of Hamlin.

“It doesn’t belong in our town,” said Hamlin resident Diana Hanley. “We have a wonderful town and this is just dividing it. If something divides this many people then it cannot be right.”

That is what concerns New York State Senator Jim Alesi. The republican believes wind farms would pit neighbor against neighbor and town against town. So Alesi has proposed a statewide moratorium until there is a comprehensive review.

Alesi said, “We have to realize that windmills are very obtrusive and can be seen from miles away. And whatever one local town does within its own confines, within its own laws, can have an unintended effect on neighboring towns.”

Hamlin town officials say they will take into consideration the concerns of residents before making a decision.

“We’ve taken into account all the issues. We may not agree on all of them, but all the issues have certainly been taken into account and considered and I think that’s the important thing,” said Hamlin Town Supervisor Dennis Roach. “We may not always agree but we have certainly heard what the issues and concerns are.”

Roach says a decision on wind tower regulations will be made at a special town board meeting scheduled for April 24.

by Mike Hedeen

R News

10 April 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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