It comes as no surprise that the recent notice of motion by Mayor Truper McBride to delay Cochrane High School’s (CHS) wind turbine project was a welcome development to the No Turbine in Town Coalition (NTT).
But for NTT member Brenda Samborski, it’s not about trying to stop green-energy projects like the turbine from being implemented in Cochrane, but rather doing so in a responsible manner.
“NTT’s position remains the same in terms of a responsible and respectful location for this turbine and for all future placements,” Samborski stated in a letter responding to the mayor’s motion.
“It is good to hear that a motion has been made and to hear the school will put their application on hold…we hope that all of council is on board with this motion.”
McBride’s motion was to provide time for administration to develop a renewable energy framework to guide such projects as the wind turbine.
Samborski said her coalition had approached members of council about their concerns with the turbine, asking them to deliberate on a resolution that would put a halt on the erection of the turbine until Health Canada had a chance to complete its study and the town could research other municipalities with turbines.
“We want to know more about the possible health and safety issues,” said Samborski. “We don’t want a particular project or the salesman of the turbine to drive the process…we don’t think that is appropriate.”
The Eagle attempted to contact Stephanie Bennett of CHS’s Sustainable Development Committee, and the person who spearheaded the turbine project, for a comment on McBride’s March 11 notice of motion, but instead received a reply from Rocky View Schools (RVS) board chair Bruce Pettigrew saying, “RVS had not yet received a request from the Town of Cochrane to delay our AUC (Alberta Utilities Commission) submission. If we do receive such a request, of course our board would be willing to work with our municipal partner.”
RVS approved the wind turbine project on Jan. 10 and was prepared to submit an application to the AUC, the governing body that would be responsible for ultimately approving the project.
If the mayor’s motion passes council on March 25, the town will at that time put in a formal request to RVS to delay the submission for the turbine project.
The town understands, as does Samborski, that it does not have any say as to whether the turbine goes up or not, but a framework would at least offer some kind of guidance to those who do.
“The town might not have jurisdiction on this matter,” said Samborski, “but there is no doubt that the town’s position is relevant to this matter.”
During his motion, McBride commended the students of CHS, saying they were who ‘drove the conversation and discussion that was going to take place at the next council meeting on renewable energy.’
McBride expected the framework would be complete sometime in late 2014.
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