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Wind committee announces one more meeting  

Credit:  By Matt McAllister, The Journal, www.ogd.com 25 January 2011 ~~

HAMMOND – After 10 months and nearly 30 meetings, work for the Hammond wind committee will continue into February.

“Though I understand a number of you want off this committee, I appreciate you guys keeping your noses to the grindstone,” said Town Supervisor Ronald W. Bertram at the conclusion of Monday’s meeting.

The ten-member wind committee, appointed by the town board last March, scheduled another meeting for Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the village community center. That meeting, according to Rudolph A. Schneider, committee chairman, will be used to tie up loose ends and make a final couple of recommendations to the board concerning complaint resolution.

On Monday, the only action taken by the wind committee was to approve a recommendation on decommissioning made by Allen P. Newell by a 6 to 1 vote, with Michele W. McQueer casting the lone vote in opposition – as she has with every other committee recommendation. Leonard D. Bickelhaupt, Richard K. Champney, and Donald A. Ceresoli Jr. were not present at the meeting.

Highlights of the proposal include:

* Any wind turbine non-functional or inoperative for a continuous period of one year will be removed on the developer’s dime.

* A decommissioning plan submitted by the developer will include the estimated decommissioning cost, how that estimate was determined, the method of ensuring available funds for decommissioning purposes, and the method that will be used to keep these costs current.

* A decommissioning fund of 125 percent of the full cost of decommissioning (including salvage value) and restoration will be kept in the form of cash on deposit with the town or cash held in escrow in a New York-licensed financial institution.

The decommissioning plan, along with the Real Property Value Guarantee and noise and setback suggestions already approved by the committee, will be made available to the town board prior to its special meeting on Jan. 31. Meetings to review the wind committee’s suggestions have been set for the final Monday in Jan., Feb., and March.

Besides Mr. Newell’s proposal, much of Monday’s meeting was devoted to discussion on Mr. Bickelhaupt’s suggestion of a new committee being formed to oversee any wind project development as it occurs – from the permitting process, through construction, and also to mediate waiver requests and complaints.

Mr. Bickelhaupt had suggested that such a committee be made up of seven members: the town supervisor and a town board member, the planning board chairman and another planning board member, as well as the wind committee chairman and two other members of the wind committee.

All present members of the committee, except for Mrs. McQueer, agreed that such a panel would be beneficial, but the plan was not finalized.

Source:  By Matt McAllister, The Journal, www.ogd.com 25 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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