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Planning board approves complaint resolution plan

Howard, N.Y. —

For those wishing to voice complaints or questions about the Howard wind project, it will be much easier starting Friday.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday night, the Town of Howard planning board approved a plan establishing a round-the-clock, toll-free number for Steuben County residents to voice concerns regarding the wind project.

“The call center will log in all the calls, and rather than just have them go to one individual, it’s going to go to the environmental monitor that the town has hired (Edward O’Heron of LaBella Associates), the Delaney construction company, and it’s going to go to an Everpower employee,” said Everpower Senior Director of Development Kevin Sheen.

“We thought this was a better way to do it,” Sheen added. “Rather than just have it go to one person… now, this way, it goes to everyone. And the other advantages of a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week call center is that all calls will be answered by a human being, no matter what time it is.”

After they are notified of a complaint, Howard Wind and LaBella will work with people logging complaints to resolve the issue, the plan says. Howard Wind will log the date and nature of all received complaints and make them available to the town board, the town engineer and LaBella.

The plan also emphasizes an “open communication policy” between Howard Wind and town officials. According to the plan, the policy will help the community become aware of the construction schedule and the transportation routes and schedule.

The line will activate Friday, and will remain open until one year after the wind turbine construction is complete.

According to the plan, the toll-free number is 1-888-450-6731. Sheen said the number will also be posted in the Howard Town Hall, the Howard Public Library, and on the Howard wind website.

In addition to calling the number, complaints can also be sent in writing to Howard Wind LLC.

Copies of the Community Outreach and Complaint Resolution Plan are available at the town clerk’s office.

After the planning board adjourned, the Howard Town Board approved the following measures:

Dr. Richard Parker agreed to appointment as Health Inspector for 2011.

Authorized Don Elia to sign a contract for 2011 with the Fremont ambulance and the 2011 Howard Fire Protection Contract with the Howard Fire Department. Both organizations will continue to serve in Howard.

Passed a town law that dog owners need to have licenses for pets.