ALLEGANY, N.Y. – A number of Allegany residents were assured by the Allegany Town Board at Tuesday’s meeting that the board was reviewing a recommendation to rescind the wind energy overlay district in the Chipmonk Road area.
Residents who packed the small meeting room questioned why the town board had not placed the issue on the agenda to vote on.
The issue was also brought up by board member David Koebelin who asked that the topic be placed on the agenda. In addition, Koebelin turned in 120 letters that had been written to the town board by area residents in favor of rescinding the wind overlay district.
The topic came up in June after the town planning board recommended that the wind energy overlay district be rescinded.
Their recommendation came three months after the New York State Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by EverPower Wind LLC against the planning board. Following the dismissal, EverPower relinquished its rights to build a wind farm in the town of Allegany.
In 2011, EverPower had planned to build a $160 million wind farm in the Chipmonk area, but the project fell through after three years of legal struggles with the town and Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County.
Town Supervisor John Hare told the gathering that the town was reviewing the planning board’s recommendation and could possibly put the issue on the agenda for the Sept. 9 meeting.
“We’re methodically going through this, but we’re not taking it up tonight … because we’re being very slow, deliberate and careful,” Hare said. “We went through a lot over the last couple of years and we’re being very meticulous about how we move forward.”
He added that the board is conferring with town’s legal counsel before the issue is “closed out.”
Kathy Boser, president of Concerned Citizens, then asked if the board could provide the status of another lawsuit that had been brought against the town by Everpower and was still pending.
“We’re trying to resolve those outstanding issues, but that’s all I can say at this time,” Hare responded.
Boser said she and others would like to see the overlay district rescinded because the planning board had indicated that another developer could potentially step in and use the zoned parcel for a new wind turbine project.
“The planning board has gotten behind you and has given you their consent (in June) … and it was our perception that you were going to put this to a vote soon thereafter,” Boser said.
To that, Hare stated that he and the board are trying to address the issue “in a very deliberate and methodical way.”
“I guess all of us sitting here are hoping we will be able to take it up in September,” Hare said when asked for a time frame to vote on rescinding the overlay district.
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