Loyalist Township council has deferred approval of a preconstruction report for the Amherst Island wind energy project.
The preconstruction report is a collection of technical documents that identify municipal infrastructure expected to be affected by the construction of the wind turbines.
Last Monday council agreed with township staff’s recommendation that not enough is known yet about the impact on the island’s roadways.
Amherst Island’s road network is unusual because many of the roads were built on private property, meaning there is no road allowance on either side of the travelled portion, which limits the options for widening or improving the road.
Initially, the company building the wind energy project, Algonquin Power’s subsidiary Windlectric Inc., had said roads would need to be widened at three locations on the island to accommodate large construction vehicles.
That plan changed with the latest version of the operations plan and now includes widening to 20 kilometres of island roads.
“Primary concerns of the township are the capacity of the roadbed, and the ability of the roadbed to drain appropriately, and to ensure that the rights of private property owners are suitably protected,” a report to council stated.
“In particular, there is a requirement that all work must be constructed within the municipally owned right of way unless a separate agreement exists between Windlectric and the adjacent private landowners.”
Township staff were also concerned about the effect of the construction project on the school bus schedule on the island.
In mid-August, township council approved the project’s operations plan.
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