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Barber to talk about wind in Cherry Valley

Some of the best wind in New York State can be found in Cherry Valley, and residents will have an opportunity to learn how the town may be able to capitalize on it with a municipal wind generating project.

The town of Cherry Valley’s Citizens Committee on Renewable and Alternative Energy is sponsoring a presentation next week by town of Caroline supervisor Don Barber.

Caroline town officials have put together a proposal to build a 10-turbine, 2.5 mega-watt generating facility that would be financed, owned and operated by the town. The town would issue bonds to finance the project, and once those bonds are paid off, revenue generated by the turbines could be used to reduce property taxes.

Residents of Caroline have to approve issuing the bonds. Cherry Valley’s East Hill had been targeted for a wind farm by Reunion Power, but a stringent wind ordinance adopted by the town shortcircuited its plan.

Reunion Power is now in the process of removing its meteorological towers, which were erected to measure the wind.

Supervisor Tom Garretson spoke of the possibility of a municipal wind project for the town during his campaign for re-election last November, and remains interested today.

“The reason the town of Caroline caught our eye is that their turbines are not the 400-footers and the fact it was set up to take care of the town,’’ he said.

The smaller scale would address some of the residents’ concerns about the visual impact of the industrialscale turbines, Garretson said.

Andy Minnig, one of the founders of the Advocates for Cherry Valley that opposed Reunion Power’s plan, said he and members of the group were “very excited’’ to hear more about Barber’s experience. “We’re very much in favor of Don’s thinking about small scale projects that are defined by the town’s own philosophy,’’ Minnig said. “We’re urging members to attend. It’s an important event for the town.’’

During the presentation in Cherry Valley, Barber, a Democrat running for the NYS Senate from the 51st district, will discuss the details of the proposed plan.

The event will take place Wednesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. in the community center.

By Jim Autin

The Cooperstown Crier

15 May 2008