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Skydive Burnaby owners meet with mayor  

Credit:  By Dave Johnson, Tribune Staff, www.wellandtribune.ca 6 January 2011 ~~

WAINFLEET – Skydive Burnaby owner Mike Pitt feels a meeting with township staff and Mayor April Jeffs earlier this week was productive in addressing his concerns about a planned wind farm west of the parachute club on Burnaby Rd.

“We had a good response from the mayor and staff,” said Pitt, who was accompanied by his co-owner wife, Tara, at the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Wainfleet chief administrative officer Scott Luey and township planner Grant Munday.

“They said they are sympathetic to us and don’t want to see our business go away. We bring a lot of people to Wainfleet and are a major attraction,” Pitt said.

His club, which has between 150 and 200 members, will have up to 5,000 jumps made over the summer, with 2,700 of those being tandem jumps by first-time skydivers. The club also has charity groups come in and perform jumps to raise funds. Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre Foundation has held the Partners in the Sky event there for the past 10 years.

The Pitts have owned the club for the past 11 years and Mike worked as a volunteer on the board of directors for 10 years before that.

“I’ve been packing parachutes here since I was 10 years old,” he said.

The couple is concerned jumpers from the club could become entangled in the towers or blades of the turbines as they will drift through the wind farm area at times when they jump west of the field. They have also made their concerns known to IPC Energy, which will be developing the farm for Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc., owned by the Loeffen family.

“We were told there are some things out of the township’s hands,” Pitt said.

The mayor said the province’s Green Energy Act ties the township’s hands when it comes to the proposed project.

“All we can do is make comments on it,” she said.

Despite having spoken with the Pitts on the phone about their concerns, the mayor said she wanted to meet them face to face on the issue and get staff involved.

Jeffs said many Skydive Burnaby patrons have e-mailed the township with their comments over the proposed wind turbine towers.

“We are replying to them and are encouraging them to send their comments to IPC as well.”

A public meeting will be held Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in township hall.

“It’s a chance for the public to comment and we’ll include them when we make our submission to the province.”

The Pitts plan to be at council Tuesday to ask for a moratorium on wind farms in the township and will hold a meeting Jan. 15, at 10 a.m. at Brethren-in Christ Church, 10641 Hwy. 3. MPP Peter Kormos is expected to be at that meeting.

[rest of article available at source]

Source:  By Dave Johnson, Tribune Staff, www.wellandtribune.ca 6 January 2011

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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