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Pray for Orangeville officials, citizens

For newly elected Orangeville Town Supervisor Gerald Stout, his first month in office has been a real challenge. Supervisor Stout begins each Town Board meeting with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Beginning town meetings with a prayer is certainly commendable and much needed. The record thus far shows that it will certainly require heavenly intervention for positive change to occur at the Town Hall.

— The state Office of the Comptroller completed a three-month audit of the town financial records in December and on Dec. 29, 2011, the town bookkeeper resigned.

— On Jan. 3, 2012, the Town Board held its organizational meeting and residents attending the meeting were shocked when Councilmen (Hans) Boxler, (Andrew) Flint, (James) Herman and (Thomas) Schabloski voted that the town would no longer do business with Five Star Bank because the opinion of the bank’s CEO was not in line with their own regarding the industrial wind project. This vote occurred just 10 minutes after the officials took the constitutional Oath of Office.

— On Jan. 4, 2012, Judge (Patrick) NeMoyer issued a decision in favor of an Orangeville resident’s lawsuit against the town. The decision indicated that the town had violated their own zoning law in regards to setbacks from dwellings. The amount of tax dollars spent because of this (2011) mistake is unknown.

— Planning Board Chairman Len Knaggs was responsible for reviewing the Stony Creek project site plan. On page 6 of NeMoyer’s decision it states: “In attempting to map the location of petitioner’s cabin or otherwise depict his property situation, respondents (town) plotted his ‘dwelling’ denominated ‘H(ouse)-2102,’ in an incorrect location, one well outside a 1,320-foot radius from the proposed site of T-28. In fact, in the location so plotted by respondents (town), there exist no dwelling or other structures. (Moreover, petitioner shows that respondents (town) additionally mistakenly plotted a supposed second structure, designated as ‘H(ouse)-2101’ on petitioner’s property in another location where there exist no man-made structure, but rather only a beaver dam.) Where petitioner’s cabin is in fact located, respondents (town) initially mapped no construction of any type.”

— Wyoming County Attorney (Mark) Dadd, the Wyoming County Planning Board and many residents of Orangeville repeatedly requested General Electric’s (GE) recommendation for setbacks for their 1.6 mw-100 wind turbine. The request was repeatedly denied.

— The state Public Service Commission requested and received a copy of the confidential document because of their concern about setback requirements. The confidential document from GE indicated that an 885-foot setback is generally appropriate. The PSC further wrote that the town of Orangeville special use permit and site plan conditions require that the facility construction be done in accordance with all applicable local, state and federal regulations, industry standards and (wind-energy collection device) manufacturer recommendations.

— On June 23, 2011, Mel Kensinger, zoning officer, and Attorney David DiMatteo received a letter from Invenergy for the special use permit and site plan for the wind project. Attached to this letter was “Table 1b – Distances to Non-Participating Properties.” The table indicates that 40 non-participating properties will be located less than the GE recommended setback of 885 feet from a turbine (for ice throw, blade throw, collapse, etc.).

It is unclear why this table was never made available for PSC or public review. In terms of safety and property rights, these 40 property owners will now be at risk on their own property.

I ask that everyone say a prayer for our newly elected town supervisor, our elected officials and all of Orangeville’s citizens.

Steven Moultrup

Orangeville