ASKEATON – Attorney James Sickel recommended that the Town of Holland adopt the same ordinance developed by the neighboring Town of Morrison to regulate wind energy developments.
“It is very well done and thorough,” Sickel said. He said it deals with all of the issues on concern to Holland: setback, noise, vibration, shadow, flicker, safety and removal.
Sickel called ordinance provisions to guarantee removal of abandoned windmills the key concern. He said calling for an irrevocable letter of credit ineffective because it “would be of no value in a bankruptcy.”
Instead, he recommended a bond or money held in escrow to fund removal of abandoned wind energy towers.
Citizen Doug Verbeten agreed and noted that the Town of Wrightstown’s proposed wind energy ordinance does not allow letter of credit to guarantee coverage of the cost of removal.
“A bond or escrow is obviously more secure,” Sickel said.
Sickel will prepare a final draft of the wind energy ordinance for the Planning Board’s June 1 meeting.
Open burning: Askeaton homeowner Carl Johnson raised the issue of the town regulating open burning in all areas of the township, not just in Hollandtown.
He was involved in a dispute with his neighbors last year over their burning of straw and manure, which he said produced toxic smoke that affected his home.
The town currently restricts open burning only within the Holland Sanitary District.
The town board referred the issue to its Zoning Board for consideration.
The state has regulations regarding open burning, but the town currently has no authority to enforce them.
The town board decided to expand the power to issue open burning permits to allow the chief or assistant chief of a fire district within the town to also issue burning permits.
16 May 2008