Are industrial wind turbines welcome in the Municipality of Meaford as far as council is concerned?
That is a question that Meaford council may be on the verge of answering. Meaford Deputy Mayor Harley Greenfield signaled his intention at council’s regular meeting on Monday, June 11 to bring forward a resolution that states the municipality is not in favour of industrial wind turbines and solar farms.
Greenfield notified council that he would be bring forth that resolution at council’s regular meeting on Monday, June 25.
In addition to that notice of motion, Deputy Mayor Greenfield also had a resolution concerning wind turbines, solar panel farms and the Green Energy Act on the agenda for the June 11 council meeting. That resolution asked municipal staff to prepare a report about council’s legal rights under the Green Energy Act.
“It’s a resolution that, maybe, should have been introduced six or eight months ago,” Greenfield noted.
The resolution stated that Meaford has been approached with one proposal to develop an industrial wind turbine farm in the municipality. The resolution noted that more such proposals might be in the works. The resolution also noted that the McGuinty government’s draconian Green Energy Act has removed municipal authority on industrial green energy projects. The resolution asked municipal staff to look into the possibility that the municipality could financially benefit from industrial green energy projects if Meaford is forced by the government to accept such a development. Greenfield’s resolution also asked staff to find out if a municipally implemented 2 km setback between industrial turbines and residential dwellings would be legally enforceable under the Green Energy Act.
“I’m asking staff to do some research and let’s see what they can find out,” the Deputy Mayor stated.
Greenfield said he wanted to know if there could be a financial benefit for the community if it is forced to accept an industrial wind turbine development.
“If we have to swallow this pill let’s have as much of it sugar coated as possible and earn some money for the municipality,” he said.
The majority of council supported the resolution, with councillor James McIntosh declaring a conflict on the matter.
Only councillor Deborah Young questioned the validity of the resolution. Young said the municipality still doesn’t have a CAO, staff are currently busy with their other duties and summer vacation time has arrived.
“Our staff is really under the gun for a lot of things. Now we’re adding something that’s really not necessary,” said Young, pointing out that there is currently only one industrial green energy project proposed for Meaford. Young also questioned how soon the Deputy Mayor wanted a report prepared.
The resolution did not put a time frame on when the report would be delivered. The resolution stated that the report would be delivered to council in a most expedient time frame.
Councillor Lynda Stephens said she fully supported the resolution. Stephens said it is far more advantageous for the municipality to know its rights and obligations under the Green Energy Act right away – instead of waiting until there are a bunch of proposals coming forward.
“It’s better to find out what rights we have under the Green Energy Act now,” she said.
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