PARISHVILLE – After months of stressing the need to have a local wind law in place, Parishville officials have put the brakes on the process.
Town Supervisor Jerry G. Moore said there is no longer a sense of urgency to develop a wind law after learning the town was years away from seeing any type of wind development.
“Let’s face it. It’s going to be a four or five year process so we have plenty of time,” he said. “There is no hurry.”
Last month, Mr. Moore said the town’s wind law was “90 percent” complete, and he was hopeful board members would be able to vote on the proposal during Tuesday’s meeting. But talks with representatives from Iberdola Renewables Inc. revealed the power company remained in the early stages of development and were years away from potentially beginning construction, he said.
After placing two test towers in Hopkinton last year, the power company is still waiting to collect data to determine whether or not the region could even sustain a wind farm, giving town officials time to tinker with the law.
“I believe this is something you can’t rush through,” he said. “We would like to get it right the first time.”
Hopkinton Town Supervisor Marvin E. Rust has said his town is still two months away from finalizing a draft of their law, a time table Mr. Moore said Parishville has now been placed on.
In the meantime, the town has scheduled a meeting with the planning board to work through the details of the law, their second such meeting.
Mr. Moore said additional work needs to be done on a number of issues, including noise restrictions and zoning districts. The town must work to protect its valuable farming land, he said, and will need to develop a law to reflect that need.
“We don’t want to ruin all the agricultural land here because someday we might need that land,” he said.
But the law’s timetable isn’t the only thing that has changed in the past month. During July’s meeting, board members decided they were no longer in need of the services of Hodgson Russ, the Buffalo-based consulting firm that has been helping the town throughout the development of the law. After paying a consultant nearly $400 per hour for work with the town, board members agreed the price was too steep to continue working with the firm.
But town attorney Roger B. Linden has requested the town continue to retain the consultant, suggesting their expertise will be necessary in order to help the town navigate the complicated federal and state laws.
“Roger Linden is a great lawyer but he admittedly needs some help,” Mr. Moore said. “I respect him for saying that and if he wants help we’re going to give him help.”
A meeting between Parishville’s town council and the planning board has been scheduled for Sept. 7 at the town hall.
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