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Clayton holds off decision on wind moratorium

CLAYTON – The Clayton Town Council held off their decision about a six-month wind project moratorium on Wednesday, as members waited for clearance to proceed from the Jefferson County Planning Board.

The council put its local law to the county board earlier this month, but had not heard back, said Supervisor David M. Storandt Jr. He added the county has 30 days to review the plan from when it was submitted on April 7.

Depending on the timing of the county’s response, the earliest opportunity for the town council to consider the plan would be April 27.

If the county does not respond, the town could proceed May 11.

“We have to make sure the science is right, the law is right, the politics are right,” Mr. Storandt said.

The moratorium is under consideration as Iberdrola Renewables pursues its Horse Creek wind project that would be mainly in Clayton and expected to incorporate the towns of Orleans, Lyme and Brownville. The developer has said it plans to soon start the pre-application process for a state-required Article 10 review of its still-undefined project.

The town of Orleans passed a six-month moratorium of its own last week.

Both Iberdrola representatives and town residents spoke during a public comment session during Wednesday evening’s meeting at the Clayton Opera House, Riverside Drive.

Jenny Briot, Iberdrola’s manager of renewables development, asked that the town’s moratorium not include its temporary structures it hoped to use for data collection.

Multiple residents at the meeting said the moratorium would help the town assess its options, and expressed concerns about the project’s potential impact to the environment, quality of life and property values.

“It’s up to our town, not Iberdrola, not New York state,” said Kenny J. Knapp, a Clayton resident.