IRONDEQUOIT – The town on Tuesday night became the latest municipality to oppose a wind-turbine project in Lake Ontario, with unanimous Town Board support.
The board also unanimously passed a law that will, for the first time, regulate pawn shops in town.
The meeting at Town Hall drew a packed house, with most in attendance there to discuss the wind-turbine project. Those who spoke against the project far outnumbered those who supported it.
Many, including Town Board members, said the project would destroy the beauty of the lake, cause environmental damage and cause property values along the shoreline to plummet. Supervisor Mary Joyce D’Aurizio again chastised the New York Power Authority, which proposed the project, for being too secretive.
“They have not, in any form, reached out to the communities,” she said.
Two other shoreline towns, Webster and Greece, already have passed such resolutions. Irondequoit board members added an amendment to its resolution, saying town leaders want to have input and a vote on whether the project goes forward.
Lack of information about the proposed wind farms has been a persistent criticism. The Power Authority has been promoting the project for two years and in June began reviewing five proposals from private-sector developers. But the Westchester-based authority won’t release any information about the proposals, including possible turbine locations.
Bob Ross of Rock Beach Road said he could not comprehend how any group of people could imagine “decimating” Lake Ontario and its shoreline.
“We don’t need another ‘Triple F’: Fast ferry fiasco,” Ross said.
Susan Nielsen of Van Voorhis Avenue, one of the few speakers who did not oppose the project, said Irondequoit should wait and see what is proposed before any decision is made.
“This will be an example of fearful government operating without facts,” she said.
The pawn-shop law passed with much less fanfare. D’Aurizio said about five pawn shops have recently opened in Irondequoit and said the town has little legal recourse in dealing with them. She said citizens have said those are not the kind of businesses they want to see in town.
The manager of one secondhand shop in Irondequoit urged the town to make a clear distinction between secondhand shops and pawn shops.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in Irondequoit who is (pawning),” said Rafael Barreto of Hollywood Treasures at 772 E. Ridge Road.
Irondequoit’s proposed law includes stipulations such as a $250 annual fee for a pawnbroker license, a $10,000 bond, and time restrictions for how long goods must be held before they can be sold.
The law also would require licensees to list all employees, keep records on people selling or pawning goods, and limit hours to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
The legislation grants full power to the chief of police and Town Board members to revoke any license “for cause.”
Irondequoit Police Chief Richard Boyan said the law would apply only to pawnbrokers, not secondhand shops.
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