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Following ethics law change, Hopkinton town councilman now eligible to vote on wind farm issues

HOPKINTON – Following a change in Town of Hopkinton ethics law, a town councilman who was previously abstaining from voting on wind farm issues due to a conflict of interest will now be eligible to vote.

Town councilman Greg Crump is now able to vote on wind related issues, including setbacks, the overlay zone and sound decibel allowance.

Avangrid, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is heading the North Ridge Wind Farm, which calls for about 40 wind towers to be constructed in Hopkinton and Parishville.

The town made the change last month after filing the appropriate paperwork with New York State, according to Sue Wood, town supervisor.

The change allows for members to vote on wind measures directly affecting cousins, aunts and uncles while still excluding votes affecting those with closer family relationships such as children, siblings and parents.

The board now has four members eligible to vote on wind-related laws.

Last month, North Country This Week reported that the Hopkinton Town Board would be powerless to override the St. Lawrence County Planning Board should it make a recommendation on the proposal to not expand the wind overlay zone, as well as any required changes to wind turbine setbacks and decibel limits the towers can produce.

Gilbert Sochia will continue to abstain because a close member of his family has signed a lease with Avangrid, Wood said.

Other town council members are Sue Lyon and Steve Parker.