CHAUMONT – The Lyme Town Council unanimously resolved to register for party status for the Article 10 Law review processes of both Apex Clean Energy’s Galloo Island Wind project and Atlantic Wind LLC’s Horse Creek Wind Farm project during their monthly board meeting Wednesday.
Deputy Supervisor Don R. Bourquin said the board wanted to register the town as a party for Galloo Island Wind process so it could acquire more information on how the town could be affected and to potentially apply for intervenor funding. The town was named as a stakeholder in the project’s preliminary scoping statement.
“It is important to register for party status to have the option to apply for intervenor funds and be a part of negotiations and the information highway,” Mr. Bourquin said.
The board intends to ask Apex about road use agreements, route evaluations and transportation impact studies. The board will also focus the concerns involving property value, health and environmental impact.
Mr. Bourquin said the board wanted to register the town as a party for the Horse Creek Wind Farm process because the board wanted more information on Atlantic Wind’s specific plans regarding development in the town and to address the health, property value and environmental concerns involving the project, particularly its potential impact on the Chaumont Barrens Preserve nature trail.
Board members expressed concerns they have and that other municipalities had about the Article 10 law, leading to a discussion on whether or not the town would join a coalition of municipalities to potentially combat the law.
Mr. Bourquin said that multiple municipalities came together to discuss possibly obtaining funds to hire attorneys from Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP to challenge the State Legislature to alter or overturn the law. Mr. Bourquin did not comment on whether or not the firm was involved in the discussion. “I’m all for revolting against Article 10,” said Councilwoman Ann M. Harris.
The board decided to postpone any decision on whether or not to challenge the law.
Mr. Bourquin said that combating the State Legislature would be costly and that there were too many uncertainties about how they would challenge it.
“Do you want to fight Article 10?” Mr. Bourquin said. “Want to be Don Quixote?”
While the town decided to register as a party for the Galloo Island Wind project review process, the board decided not to apply for pre-application intervenor funds.
The board decided against filing for funds from the $28,640 pre-application intervenor funding available because the application is due today and the board lacked the planning and resources to file an application in time, Mr. Borquin said. The board may consider applying for intervenor funds if Apex submits a formal application.
“If or when we go for funding, we’ll plan ahead,” Mr. Bourquin said. “We’re just not ready.”
During the meeting, a Chaumont resident asked for the board’s opinion on wind development and whether or not it will represent the majority of citizens who oppose it.
Councilman Daniel J. Villa said that the board will uphold the town’s current wind law, which provides an overlay district for wind development and prohibits any development beyond it.
“We are going to fight hard to uphold the laws in this town,” he said.” “We’ll fight Article 10.”
Town Supervisor Scott G. Aubertine did not attend the meeting.
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