If the voters of Tyrone Borough have their way, wind turbines will go on Ice Mountain.
A survey of voters outside the seven borough polling places showed 55 percent favored leasing watershed property to Gamesa USA.
Of the 2,932 registered Democrats and Republicans in the borough, 1,094 participated in the nonbinding, secret ballot poll.
Borough council members tallied the slips after the closing of the polls, with 601 for the lease and 493 against.
Council members Pat Stoner, Virgie Werner and Jen Bryan indicated Tuesday night that they would vote to enter into a 30-year lease with Gamesa.
Council member Jim Grazier has said in the past that he will make his decision known when he votes and gave no indication of how he would vote, although his voting record often reflects that of Werner, Stoner and Bryan.
Council member Steve Hanzir said in the past that he would do what the people wanted and said he was surprised by the vote.
“I had my eyes opened,” Hanzir said.
Mayor Jim Kilmartin said he still hasn’t made his decision, but the survey results would play into it.
Bryan said she was “pleasantly surprised” and indicated a vote likely would come soon.
“I think we’re ready to move forward,” Bryan said.
Bryan and Stoner said they initially were against the windmills, but they now support the plan.
Stoner said she always has said that she would do what the people of the borough wanted.
Werner said she was happy residents came out to take part.
“I appreciate the people who came in to vote,” she said. “It helps us out a lot in making our decisions,” Werner said.
Gamesa hopes to put up to 25 wind turbines on Ice Mountain in Snyder Township, Blair County and Taylor Township, Centre County.
The lease would pump $150,000 a year into the borough.
By Greg Bock
23 April 2008
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