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Fort Drum land use study outlined at public hearing  

Some of the meeting attendees were particularly interested in the researchers’ efforts to review wind turbine projects. Jack Woodward, a Wellesley Island resident, said he was worried about how turbines might affect the post’s operations. “I hope it’s an honest, open land use study that takes into account the local issues,” he said. Donald J. Metzger, a Lyme resident who has regularly opposed wind projects in the north country, asked for researchers to look into multiple wind projects on both sides of the border within the study range.

Credit:  By Gordon Block | Watertown Daily Times | March 30, 2017 | www.watertowndailytimes.com ~~

EVANS MILLS – Local residents had a chance to give their opinions on a new land use study, one button-push at a time, as researchers consider future growth on and off-post.

The Fort Drum Joint Land Use Study is expected to cover potential conflicts across 25 compatibility areas in a 30-mile radius around the post, with a goal of providing recommendations for future growth.

“All of these things are a balance,” said Celeste Boccieri-Werner, a researcher for Matrix Design Group, which is working under the Development Authority of the North Country. “No matter what we do, there will be positive and negative consequences of each decision.”

Matrix Design Group has done similar studies at other military communities nationwide, looking at similar compatibility problems.

The approximately 35 meeting participants at the Evans Mills Fire Hall on Tuesday night answered a series of questions using small remotes, ranging from how they described the relationship with Fort Drum, the noise and vibrations from the post and the use of aircraft at the post.

The Evans Mills meeting was the first of two meetings to introduce the study. A second meeting was also scheduled in Lowville on Wednesday.

Franz J. Philippe, director of the plans, analysis and integrations Office at Fort Drum, said the study could help guide development near the post, “so we can train how we need to train.”

Some of the meeting attendees were particularly interested in the researchers’ efforts to review wind turbine projects.

Jack Woodward, a Wellesley Island resident, said he was worried about how turbines might affect the post’s operations.

“I hope it’s an honest, open land use study that takes into account the local issues,” he said.

Donald J. Metzger, a Lyme resident who has regularly opposed wind projects in the north country, asked for researchers to look into multiple wind projects on both sides of the border within the study range.

Fort Drum’s public affairs office said last year that the study may help in “identifying ways for the coexistence of our training and future wind turbine development in the north country.”

The public comment meetings were in addition to meetings for the study’s technical working group and steering committee that were held Wednesday and Friday, respectively. Smaller meetings have already been held with town officials across Jefferson and Lewis County.

“These issues impact wider areas, and that’s where we’ve sat down and had frank conversations around these issues,” said Michelle L. Capone, DANC’s regional development director.

Additional meetings are planned this summer for researchers to get more public comment, and to release their findings.

More details about the study and the membership of the study’s working group and steering committees can be found at http://wdt.me/danc-study.

Source:  By Gordon Block | Watertown Daily Times | March 30, 2017 | www.watertowndailytimes.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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