HOPKINTON – The Town Council is drafting a law governing the installation of wind turbines now that several residents have signed deals with Iberdrola Renewables Inc.
The agreements allow Iberdrola to build turbines on their property if wind-farm development ends up taking hold here.
Supervisor Stephen J. Bory said a draft local law on the development of wind turbines is now in the hands of St. Lawrence County Planning Office officials and that he expects the Town Council to vote on adopting the law within the next three months.
Mr. Bory, a staunch advocate of bringing wind power to the municipality, said he has the support of the rest of the board.
“Let me put it this way, the board is in favor of it,” Mr. Bory said. “Right now, (county) planning is doing some revisions to the model.”
Mr. Bory said he believes building wind turbines in Hopkinton will bring revenue to a community that is struggling to generate enough money to maintain even basic services for taxpayers.
He said the town of about 1,000 has an operating budget of nearly $1 million a year that relies mainly on money from property taxes.
“It would bring money in. We need money badly here,” Mr. Bory said. “Look around. There’s not one tower, there’s not one hydro station. … There’s nothing.”
Barbara G. Phippen, a resident of Green Road, said her husband Harold C. and the couple’s two sons have already signed separate lease agreements with Iberdrola to allow turbines to be placed on about 500 acres of land the family owns.
She said she also knows of several other families in Hopkinton who have made similar agreements with Iberdrola.
Mr. Bory said the town’s draft law on wind turbines deals with a number of issues including how far the turbines must be located from roads and dwellings, and the company’s responsibility for maintaining the turbines.
He said the way the draft law stands right now, a wind turbine constructed in the town would have to be placed at least “the height of a tower and a half” from neighboring roads and structures.
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