ARKWRIGHT – A project that has been 11 years in the making has finally been given the go-ahead by the town of Arkwright.
The wind farm project recently received the final approvals needed by the Arkwright Town Board in order to break ground and install three dozen wind turbines throughout the town. The project is anticipated to take about six months, and the projected date of operation for the Wind Energy Conversion Systems is October 2017.
“They’ll start basically after the spring thaw, and be done in about six months,” said Daniel Spitzer, a representative overseeing the project from Hodgson Russ LLP.
The final steps taken were approvals of the findings under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, increasing the maximum height of the turbines from 420 feet to 500 feet, creating a wind overlay zone and amending the official town map, among many other items on the wind farm agenda.
“This has been a good example … of working with the community and working together for what’s best for the community over the life of the project,” Spitzer said. “It’s been a real honor for our firm to work with you, and we really appreciate the opportunity.”
The wind turbines will be built on the north and south sides of Route 83 in Arkwright – 22 to the north and 16 to the south, for a total of 38 wind turbines – 36 for regular use, and two alternate turbines. The majority of them will be found to the north and south of Meadows Road and between Cable Road and Livermore Road.
A number of concerns were addressed. The potential of using dynamite for the project was questioned and it was revealed that though dynamite may be a potential part of construction, it is likely not going to be used. In the event it is, however, it is only brought on site in needed quantities, and stored off site in a proper location when not in use.
Also, it was revealed the town will receive $1,000 per wind turbine, totaling $36,000 to go toward general funds for the town to use as it sees fit.
After half an hour, the papers were ready to be signed.
“It’s been 11 years,” Arkwright Town Supervisor Frederic Norton said. “I don’t know what to do with myself now.”
Another topic covered was funding from New York state and the Department of Transportation.
“For years, the state has failed to contribute even distribution of state funds for highways,” Norton said.
The board discussed appealing to New York state to increase local transportation funding. The current lack of funding leaves roads and bridges far under the recommended quality guidelines. Therefore, the town will be appealing to the state to increase the funding toward transportation in order to fix the problems that have occurred over the past few years due to the lack of sufficient funds.
Finally, the town discussed purchases of new equipment. Approved was a new pickup truck, which costs $30,679, including a tow package and an edge plow, two tailgate sanders at a cost of no more than $7,000 and a used, single-axle plow truck for no more than $40,000.
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