BURKE— Burke officials are apparently adopting the Boy Scout motto when it comes to wind towers.
Town officials last week discussed the possibility of creating regulations that would govern the siting of wind towers in the town. There are presently no announced plans to establish a wind farm in Burke, although Horizon Wind Energy of Texas recently announced plans to revive plans for the long-dormant Jericho Rise wind farm in the neighboring towns of Chateaugay and Bellmont.
Town Councilman William Wood said he want to craft regulations that would be compatible with those in neighboring communities. Wind farm projects such as Jericho Rise or the Noble Environmental Power wind farm in Chateaugay often require large tracts of land that sprawl over municipal boundaries, and Wood said he wants to be sure differing regulations don’t create an impediment to potential wind farm development.
“It is time to move forward,” Wood said. “Nothing is stopping us.”
Wood said that property owners in Clinton County are not paying any land taxes as a result of having wind towers on their property. He also stated that one Chateaugay resident who owns 2,500 acres of land assessed at $600,000 dollars is paying only $150.00 in property taxes.
Those economic benefits should be available to property owners in Burke, he said.
Town Board member Arnold Lobdell said he wants to get an opinion from Town Attorney Nathan Race before moving forward with any wind farm regulations. “I want to know where I stand,” Lobdell said.
Board members agreed to present the issue to Race before taking any further steps.
Board members agreed that public opinion regarding wind farms has changed since proposals for the towers first made their appearance at Burke meetings in 2003. Wood said the town supervisor at that time was anti wind and much of the conversation about wind farm proposals took place out of public view.
“Things were held back,” Wood said. “People wanted to come to meetings and they were not allowed.”
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