Committee takes no action on proposals
Credit: By MATT MCALLISTER, The Journal, www.ogd.com 8 February 2011 ~~
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HAMMOND – It will take at least one more meeting for the Hammond Wind Committee to finish its recommendations to the town board after no action was taken at Monday evening’s gathering in the library at Hammond Central School.
Two proposals – one concerning complaint resolution, the other, the possible creation of a Project Oversight Control Board – were distributed by Ronald R. Papke, but neither was voted upon. Both were tabled and will be part of the agenda on Feb. 15, when the committee meets again at 7 p.m., back at the school.
A final discussion, surrounding the development of the committee’s final report to the town board, left Rudolph A. Schneider, committee chairman, responsible for writing the document.
Mr. Papke said he had written the complaint resolution proposal after looking at about 20 similar town laws already established, most notably, he said, the complaint resolution language drafted by the Town of Orleans.
He read through the proposal, which touched upon common complaints, such as shadow flicker, setback requirements, noise and sleep interference, electromagnetic problems and stray voltage, and aquafier/water disturbances.
A fee schedule and time frame for notification and mitigation was included.
The committee agreed that complaints should be submitted in writing and notarized in order to prevent bogus complaints.
Mr. Papke also discussed the concept of a Project Oversight Control Board, “to oversee the project from start to finish,” and “to approve variances.”
Such a board, Mr. Papke suggested, would consist of five members, appointed by the town board, and staggered initially so that a new member would be appointed each year. Terms, he said, would be five years, and board members would all be non-participants, meaning they could not have a signed wind lease or Good Neighbor agreement with any wind company, and could not be an elected official.
Notably not at the meeting was Town Councilman James E. Langtry, who called The Journal Monday afternoon to report he will no longer be attending wind committee meetings and will not participate in wind-related discussions at town board meetings, either.
“I don’t even want to hear wind committee minutes,” Mr. Langtry said. “That’s been a waste of time.” The councilman also stated that he hasn’t voted on any wind-related issues in over a year, at least since the present wind committee was organized in early 2010. “There hasn’t been anything to vote on,” he said.
As for town board meetings, Mr. Langtry said he will participate in “only regular town business.”
“If they want to get technical,” he said of the town board, “they should do the wind issues at the end,” of town board meetings. “When Jim (Councilman James Pitcher) and I, if we want, can be gone,” he added.
Mr. Pitcher, with a wind lease signed with Iberdrola Renewables Inc., has also been recusing himself from wind discussions and voting.
The town board meets regularly next on Monday at 7 p.m. in the town hall, and again on Feb. 28, same time and place, to continue reviewing the wind committee’s recommendations.
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