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New wind ordinance, 6 percent budget increase top on Town Meeting agenda in Canaan  

Credit:  By Rachel Ohm, Staff Writer | Morning Sentinel | March 12, 2013 | www.onlinesentinel.com ~~

CANAAN – Voters will consider enacting a new wind ordinance regulating residential wind energy when they gather on Saturday for the annual Town Meeting.

They also will vote on two proposed amendments to two other ordinances, and a $1,152,493 budget.

The proposed budget is about 6 percent greater than the last budget, $1,083,338.

It includes recommendations for some new purchases, but could be offset partly by plans to use surplus funds and excise taxes to cover the costs.

Selectmen are asking for $48,000 to pave Overlook Drive from U.S. Route 2 to the end, including a turn-around; $25,000 for the purchase of a new snowplow; and $50,000 to put toward a new Fire Department tanker. There are also some increases in other budgeted items, such as $5,000 more for administrative costs.

Selectmen, however, also are asking residents to appropriate money from surplus funds and excise tax to help cover the costs.

They are asking voters to approve the use of $170,000 from surplus to reduce taxes and the use of $290,000 from motor vehicle excise taxes to help cover highway expenditures.

At the meeting, residents also will be asked to consider a proposed ordinance that would regulate the residential use of wind energy.

The town has a wind ordinance but it applies only to large operations, Town Clerk Denise Stetkis said.

“There was a complaint about not wanting to go through the same lengthy process for people who want to have windmills at their homes,” she said.

The proposal specifies the mandatory distance of turbines from property lines and their size, states that the color must be unobtrusive and requires them to comply with state and federal regulations. It would not apply to farms or farmland.

“It’s more of a precaution that we have the ordinance in place in case someone wanted to put up a windmill on their property,” she said.

Residents also will be asked to consider changes to two other ordinances: the town’s wind energy facility ordinance and its adult entertainment ordinance.

The wind facility ordinance would be changed to include a reference to the new ordinance on residential wind energy, if that passes.

Stetkis said that the change to the adult entertainment ordinance is a correction of a mistake in its writing. The ordinance says adult entertainment establishments cannot be open between 12 p.m. and 6 a.m. but it should say 12 a.m., she said.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Canaan Elementary School.

Elections will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Canaan Town Hall. There are no contested races.

Source:  By Rachel Ohm, Staff Writer | Morning Sentinel | March 12, 2013 | www.onlinesentinel.com

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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