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Portland board talks wind and water  

Credit:  By NICOLE GUGINO, OBSERVER Staff Writer, The Observer, www.observertoday.com 14 May 2011 ~~

PORTLAND – Wind and water were discussed Wednesday at the Portland Town Board meeting.

The town board started the meeting with a reading of Law No. 1 of 2011, which would alter its zoning map and change the maximum height for wind energy systems from 80 feet to 140 feet.

The only public comment on the law was in regard to the FARM law which restricts residential owners’ ability to complain about neighboring agricultural districts, including for noise and odor.

The board moved on to review the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQRA) of the law. The board found no significant impact on the environment and made a negative declaration.

The board then passed the law which expands the town residential zoning areas as well as the height allowance on wind mills.

Town attorney Charles Loveland urged the board to consider rewriting its zoning law on wind energy to differentiate between small and large wind energy systems.

The board is aware of a small wind energy conversion system application going through the permit process for Cornell Lake Erie Research center in the town. The board took no action because the application must go through applying for variances and be approved by the planning board before coming before the town board.

The board discussed in length the purchase of new water meters and meter pits for several water districts. The board appeared torn between purchasing the meters at a sale price now and spending money all at once.

“People are going to want to hook up as soon as possible. We need to be ready,” Councilman Gary Miller said.

In the end no action was taken except to allow Supervisor Dan Schrantz and the water committee to make the purchase of the appropriate amount of meters and pits for water districts No. 7, 5 and 2.

In other business:

Schrantz made a proclamation put forward by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to declare May 21 through 27 Safe Boating Week.

The county responded to the town’s concern over census results showing a decline in population. The results of a study showed that a vast majority was caused by a decline in prison population.

The board approved two bids for work on the highway barn roof and the town hall parking lot. The bid from Miller and Sons Construction was approved for $14,950 to replace the roof and Tabone’s bid of $1,385 was approved contingent that it included striping.

The town board will next meet on June 8.

Source:  By NICOLE GUGINO, OBSERVER Staff Writer, The Observer, www.observertoday.com 14 May 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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