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County planners to discuss difference between industrial, residential wind turbines  

CUMBERLAND – What is the difference between a residential and industrial wind energy turbine?

That’s up for discussion before the Allegany County Planning and Zoning Commission today at the County Office Complex. The meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m., takes place on the lower floor in the county commissioners’ chambers.

Phil Hager, county planning coordinator, said at the commission’s July 7 work session that there is little in the county ordinances to guide industrial or residential permits. His research showed other jurisdictions required setbacks, buffer zones and height limits, along with a public hearing process for both types of turbines. The commission also is expected to change the way the height of a turbine is currently measured and include the top of a propeller as its highest point.

Hager said most areas in Allegany County are “unsuitable for this particular use” as they don’t generate enough wind to justify the cost of construction.

Commission member Bill Davis said the idea is something that’s not an issue in Allegany County. He indicated time shouldn’t be allotted to a nonissue. But members Charles Norris and Ted Robinette disagreed.

“I do think we need to move on this,” Robinette said.

The Planning Commission also is to conduct a public hearing regarding modifications to the master water and sewer plan. Mark Yoder, Public Works Department utilities division chief, briefed the commission in April about the changes.

Those changes include increasing the permit flow for the Georges Creek wastewater treatment plant from 0.6 million gallons per day to 0.7 million gallons per day. A second change involves the planned Cumberland Chase subdivision south of Cresaptown. Future residents are to be served by the existing Barton Business Park sewage treatment plant while developer KFM LLC is building a privately funded, dedicated line to the Celanese plant.

The county also wants to increase the permit flow for the Celanese plant to 2 million gallons per day, up from the current 1.66 million-gallon flow. The plant is designed to handle 2.86 million gallons per day, Yoder said.

Water pressure issues for about 10 homes along Shades Lane near Naves Crossroad and 10 more homes on Christie Road near Country Club Road have been raised by residents to county officials. Once two new water lines are built, those residents would become county water customers. The changes must be made to be eligible for grant funding, Yoder said.

The complete agenda can be viewed online at gov.allconet.org.

Kevin Spradlin

Cumberland Times-News

16 July 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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