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Town Board considering potential wind farm

GENEVA – The Town Board Tuesday night took the first step toward having billionaire Tom Golisano’s energy company build a wind farm here.

After discussing it for about 10 minutes, board members agreed to approve a “host community agreement” with Empire State Wind Energy LLC of Oneida to pursue a project on the Davie-DeBoover farms off County Road 6.

Town Supervisor Mary Luckern, however, told board members that they would later be asked to approve a contract with the company, because it was “just an agreement” they passed Tuesday night. It would also be determined later how much money the town would receive from the project, she said.

Last month, the Town Board delayed taking action on the host agreement until they received more details about it.

Luckern, code enforcement officer Bill McAdoo and town attorney Jeff Graff last week met with company president and CEO Keith Pitman to talk about making some changes in the agreement, including new verbiage about the town’s insurance liability from the project, she said.

Town Planning Board member John Davie owns the land where the company wants to develop the project.

Golisano, who started Paychex Inc. and owns the Buffalo Sabres, founded Empire State Wind Energy with Pitman, an expert in the electric utility and energy fields.

Last November, the Town Board approved a law that allows wind energy facilities in an agriculturally zoned area in the southwest section of the town and an industrial area on the north side of the town. The law allows wind turbines less than 200 feet tall.

By Craig Fox

Finger Lakes Times

14 May 2008