A public hearing is scheduled next month on a proposed law intended to give second thoughts to anyone who wants to build a wind turbine farm to generate energy in the Town of Catlin.
The public hearing on the proposed wind law is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 9 at the town hall, 1448 Chambers Road in Beaver Dams, during the regular meeting of the Catlin town board, Town Supervisor Laverne Phelps said.
“If the town decided to do a ban, the state can override a ban. If the town decided to do a moratorium, they can override the moratorium. In order to protect the town, you have to have something on the books,” he said, explaining the purpose of the proposed law.
“We’re basically saying we really don’t want windmills in the town. We stated that. But if you do want to put windmills in the town, these are the criteria you have to follow, and it’s pretty restrictive,” Phelps said.
“It’s written more or less to protect the town if somebody does decide that they want to put windmills in the town. There are a lot of parameters that they have to follow. We just don’t see anybody wanting to do all that,” he said. “It’s not that they can’t. It’s just that it’s restrictive enough that we’re hopefully deterring them from wanting to do that.”
Following the public hearing, the town board will vote on enacting the local law, Phelps said.
Calls Tuesday and Wednesday were not successful in obtaining comment on the proposed law from Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources that wants to build a wind farm in the town.
Town officials said earlier that NextEra already has leases signed, although the company has not indicated where those parcels are located.
Town residents raised a variety of concerns about economic and quality-of-life issues at public informational meetings held earlier on the local law.
Under a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement with NextEra, 70 percent of payments would go to the Corning-Painted Post School District, Chemung County would get 23 percent, and the town would get 7 percent.
That breakdown is based on the percentages each entity would get if the company were paying straight property taxes to each entity. Additionally, the town would get $2,500 per megawatt of power generated by the turbines.
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