Administrative law judges from the Article 10 process siting board for Apex Clean Energy’s Galloo Island Wind Project revised their original intervenor funding awards for the town of Hounsfield and the village of Sackets Harbor, giving them thousands of dollars in extra funds.
According to their ruling, which was published on the state Department of Public Service website last Monday, the judges awarded the town $27,000 in intervenor funds and the village $11,640. Both the town and the village were originally awarded $5,000 in intervenor funds at the pre-application hearing July 29.
“We think that’s fair,” said Hounsfield Town Supervisor Timothy W. Scee.
Out of the town’s total awarded funding, $9,000 was given for the town’s engineering and environmental consultants and $10,000 was given for legal advisors, according to the ruling. Out of the village’s total awarded funding, $3,640 was given for the village’s environmental and engineering consultants and $8,000 was provided for legal consultants.
“We’re very pleased,” said Sackets Harbor Mayor Vincent J. Battista.
The amount of intervenor funding the town and village received was thousands of dollars less than what both applied for.
The town originally applied for a total of $48,480 in intervenor funding for their legal, engineering and environmental consultants, according to the ruling, exceeding the allotted amount by $9,840. The village originally requested $20,000, but lowered their request to $19,000 when a second statement was filed.
Administrative law judges provided $8,000 of the town’s total funding to retain Saratoga Associates to conduct a visual scoping preview, a service that will be provided to both the town and the village.
According to the ruling, the town requested an additional $10,100 for the company in a second submission for funding on Aug. 11. Mr. Scee said that the company conducted studies for an earlier iteration of the wind project on Galloo Island, which is why the town and the village hired the company.
“They have quite a bit of data already,” he said.
The town and the village will collaborate and utilize the company’s resources to study the potential affects the project could have on their visual resources, according to the ruling.
“We will work with the village to address their concerns,” Mr. Scee said.
Anthony D. Dibnah and Cara C. Dibnah, who own the Historic Places Galloo Island Lighthouse property, filed an application for $15,000 for their legal services to ensure the preservation of the lighthouse, but the judges denied their request.
According to the ruling, the judges denied the Dibnahs request because the lighthouse property was not considered a dwelling, which was required for a property owner to receive funding as a local party.
“I am slightly upset,” Mr. Dibnah said.
The Dibnahs will, however, continue to participate in the Article 10 process as a local party.
According to the ruling, Mr. Dibnah filed a comment requesting the town to have Saratoga Associates conduct a visual study on the lighthouse. Mr. Dibnah said that he also reached out to Mr. Scee to be included in the stipulation process.
“I will do whatever I need to do to make sure that the Galloo Lighthouse … does not get abused,” Mr. Dibnah said.
Mr. Scee said that he will consider Mr. Dibnah’s comments.
The total amount of intervenor funding for the project’s pre-application process was $38,640, all of which was given to the town and the village. No other applicants were mentioned in the ruling.
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