HOPKINTON – A special meeting of the Town Board has been called to reconsider a vote on a law to regulate wind turbines.
The special meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hopkinton Town Hall.
“This meeting will be to vote on Proposed Local Law 2 of 2018 Entitled ‘Wind Energy Facilities Law of Hopkinton, New York,’” a notice on the town’s website reads.
While the meeting is open to the public, the notice adds that “there will be no public comment.” On April 16, the town board voted 2-2 on the wind law, with Town Supervisor Susan M. Wood and Town Board member Kelly Pullano voting in support of the law, Town Board members Steven Parker Jr, and Susan Lyon voting against it, and Town Board member Gilbert Sochia abstaining due to a conflict of interest.
The new wind law would have replaced the current town law, passed in 2011. It would regulate the North Ridge Wind Energy Project, which the energy company Avangrid plans to establish in the town.
“The motion is dead,” Ms. Wood said after the final vote was taken at the last meeting.
Now it looks like the law will get another chance.
Ms. Pullano said Monday that Mr. Parker had emailed the entire board last week saying that he had talked with Ms. Lyon about the vote and requested that Ms. Wood schedule a special meeting.
Ms. Wood later emailed the board with the time and date of the new meeting.
At an earlier working session, Ms. Lyon had supported changes to the wind law for more restrictive setbacks of turbines and limiting expansion of the turbines south of State Route 72. Last Monday, she walked back those decisions.
“I think we need to give Avangrid an opportunity to sit down with the board,” she said. “Avangrid has said if (the project) does not go south of 72, they will walk.”
Ms. Lyon listed a number of projects she said the town needed, including a salt shed, saying she did not want to potentially sacrifice the income from the wind project without discussion.
“This wind law has nothing to do with money, it has only to do with protecting the people in this room,” Ms. Pullano replied.
Ms. Lyon also said that she was swayed by the 220 or so postcards submitted by town residents who, according to Ms. Lyon, “want the conversation to continue.”
Ms. Wood, Mr. Parker and Ms. Lyon could not be reached for comment.
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