Water and wind issues topped the Arkwright Town Board’s discussions at its meeting.
Responding to concerns raised by several residents, Supervisor Fred Norton said he has checked with the County Health Department about Forestville drilling test water wells on land the village owns on Putnam and Shaw Roads in the Town of Arkwright.
“The Health Department said there are two separate aquifer tables in the town and individual residents should not be affected,” Norton reported to the board.
He went on to tell the board the final drilling will be subject to county and state department of environmental control reviews and a public hearing.
Right now, he said, no final plans have been made, but if the project moves forward, the DEC would set limits to the gallons of water the wells could produce.
Councilman Roger Cardot asked if the town could impose a moratorium on all new drilling for water.
Norton said no because a municipality cannot set this type of restriction since the county and state regulates water and their powers supercede that of the town.
“I would feel better if we could regulate and monitor this resource,” Cardot said.
Councilwoman Linda Fairbanks noted that her family owned property, Fairdawn Farms, that is located on both sides of the aquifer.
Highway Superintendent Steve Mead suggested the town’s planning board research the legal issues involved in Forestville’s water exploration on land the village owns.
Norton said he would ask the planning board to follow up on this suggestion.
Councilman Jeff Dietrich said he has reviewed the letters received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement filed by Horizon Wind Energy on behalf of the New Grange Wind Farm the company wants to construct in Arkwright.
He said many of the concerns expressed in these letters were similar to his own.
Norton said all of the responses were forwarded to Attorney Daniel Spitzer, who is advising the town board on the processes involved with establishing a wind farm.
Copies have also been supplied to Conestoga-Rover consulting engineer Robert Adams, who will be responsible for compiling the material for eventual reply.
Horizon representative Tom Stebbins said the responses to the DEIS generated hundreds of points that need to be addressed.
Some of these are just clarifications, he said, while others will require additional studies.
Because of the complex nature of these responses and the extended comment period permitted by the town board, Stebbins asked for and was granted an extension of the time allotted to provide the answers.
He also said DEC post-mitigation plans will be on-going over the summer and all comments will be included in the final Environmental Impact Study report.
By Joan Josephson
14 June 2008