Most of the people who spoke at the town board meeting at the Clayton Opera House Wednesday night said they don’t want a wind farm in Clayton.
“We need a really good, comprehensive wind law, and we need it quickly,” Clayton resident Phil Randazzo said.
Clayton’s town board listened to residents as the board considers a six-month moratorium on wind development.
No action was taken. The town is waiting for Jefferson County’s planning board to respond to a request to change the zoning law.
Town Supervisor David Storandt says the moratorium would help the board make a more informed decision.
“The issue is so complex and so contentious,” he said. “We have to make sure the science is right, the law is right, the politics are right and the constituents are heard.”
Iberdrola Renewables is trying to build a wind farm in four towns along the St. Lawrence River. One of those towns is Orleans and it approved a similar six-month ban last month.
Jenny Briot, Iberdrola’s regional manager of renewables development, said the moratorium is unfair and would prevent the construction of a temporary wind-measuring tower.
“The company would like to continue a constructive dialogue with the town and work together toward reasonable, objectively derived standards for wind development,” she said.
“In the meantime, the company asks that it be allowed to proceed with collecting the needed data.”
Opponents say Iberdrola’s project could have a bad environmental and economic impact on Clayton.
“We have several endangered species and a major migratory bird corridor here that could be heavily affected,” Clayton resident Kenny Knapp said.
“Coupled with ruining the tourism in the north country, the property values that are shrinking would absolutely decimate the north country,” Randazzo said.
The town supervisor says the moratorium could be addressed at one of the next two board meetings if the board hears back from the county planning board.
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