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Windmill issue still hasn’t blown over  

Credit:  By Kate Day Sager Olean Times Herald | www.oleantimesherald.com 23 September 2012 ~~

With the ongoing issue of a proposed EverPower Wind LLC wind turbine farm for the town of Allegany, the question has been raised regarding how long town leaders and the community have dealt with the issue.

The following information provides a timeline of the proposed farm, compiled from Times Herald news clips dating back to July of 2006. The timeline was gathered from meetings and public hearings held for the proposed $160 million 29-turbine wind farm in the Knapp Creek and Chipmonk areas. The timeline focuses on highlights that have occurred over the years.

® July 2006: The Allegany Town Board adopts a one-year moratorium that suspends wind farm development in agricultural-forestry zoning districts in the town until the board can research the matter.

® August 2007: The town board approves an 18-page zoning ordinance draft that defines how wind turbine companies will operate in the community. Two public hearings were also held during the summer months.

® October 2007: Planning board members reported that “EverPower Renewables” had set up a small tower with equipment in the Knapp Creek area to test wind speeds.

® March 2007: A planning board public hearing includes concerns from Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County representatives regarding the proposed project and the need for an environmental impact study.

® April 2007: A group of 50 residents attend a planning board meeting at the request of the Allegany Wind Farm Committee to voice concerns about the proposed wind turbine farm.

® July 2008: EverPower officials announce their intentions to submit an application to the planning board.

® August 2008: EverPower’s application process begins; the company will present its application and project plans at the September planning board meeting. The project calls for 32 wind turbines, each producing 2.5 megawatts of power for a total capacity of 80 megawatts. EverPower proposes 492-foot turbines on both sides of Chipmonk Road between Flatstone and Nichols Run Road.

® October 2008: The Times Herald reports that EverPower is funded by Good Energies, a London-based company with offices in New York, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and Switzerland. A planning board meeting held during the month evokes “vocal contention” from residents who thought the session was a public hearing.

® December 2008: The planning board reviews a selection of 400 photographs taken in October for a visual analysis required by the Allegany Zoning Ordinance.

® January 2009: A group of Chipmonk residents calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Allegany claim that their concerns regarding the project are not being considered by the town boards.

® February 2009: A noise impact presentation for wind turbines is presented to the planning board.

® August 2009: The planning board hears a presentation on the impact of wind turbines on wildlife from a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

® September 2009: A public hearing at the Cattaraugus County Building regarding the uniform tax-exemption policy for future wind turbine farms draws wind farm opponents.

® November 2009: EverPower officials reduce the number of wind turbines from 32 to 29 and shift their locations to more-remote areas of the community. The new layout of wind turbines would place the towers 2,500 feet from non-contracted landowners’ properties.

® December 2009: Allegany residents complain about the proposed wind turbine farm at the planning board’s public hearing for zoning amendments.

® February 2010: A sound expert discusses noise created by wind turbines at the planning board meeting. Later in the month, the board approved a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project.

® April 2010 : Concerned Citizens sponsors a wind farm forum that draws as many as 150 people to the Allegany Senior Center. A public hearing later in the month received 38 comments from people against the wind turbine project and one comment in favor of the farm.

® August 2010: “EverPower Wind Holdings Inc.” holds an open house at the Allegany Senior Center which draws a large crowd and answers a number of questions presented by residents.

® April 2011: The planning board approves the Final Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project.

® May 2011: Allegany residents plead for officials to drop the wind farm during a public hearing.

® May 2011: Supporters of the wind turbine farm attend a town board meeting and speak in favor of the project.

® July 2011: EverPower officials announce that a proposed route for transport of materials through Olean is out and that alternate routes through Limestone and the town of Carrollton – and Pennsylvania – are being considered.

® August 2011: Residents of Limestone speak out against the use of their roads for transporting wind turbine materials during a Town of Carrollton board meeting.

® August 2011: Three community pickets are held to protest the proposed wind farm.

® Aug. 29, 2011: The town board votes in favor of allowing the wind farm project to proceed.

® October 2011: Concerned Citizens files a lawsuit for an injunction against the project.

® October 2011: The Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency holds a public hearing on the application of Allegany Wind Holdings LLC for project benefits.

® November 2011: Concerned Citizens’ lawsuit is dismissed by the Supreme Court.

® December 2011: EverPower officials state that construction of the wind farm will be delayed until the spring.

® December 2011: The issue of an EverPower road-use agreement in the Town of Carrollton is at a standstill.

® January 2012: Concern Citizens files an appeal with the Appellate Division for the dismissed lawsuit.

® March 2012: The town board drops its plans to implement a 180-day moratorium against the proposed wind farm.

® September 2012: EverPower officials meet with planning board officials to request a change in the wind turbine model. The scenarios requested would include changes from a Nordex 100, presumably to the Nordex 117 and the Siemens SWT113 models, which have larger rotors.

® September 2012: Concerned Citizens announce that they have officially dropped their lawsuit for a permanent injunction against the project on Sept. 6. The action requires EverPower to release $500,000 to the town from an escrow account within 10 days, specifically Sept. 20, or surrender their permit as stipulated in the host community agreement.

® The town board plans to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss its next step regarding EverPower’s permit.

Source:  By Kate Day Sager Olean Times Herald | www.oleantimesherald.com 23 September 2012

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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