FARMERSVILLE – A wind law survey will be mailed to Farmersville landowners next week by the Farmersville Town Board’s attorney.
The short survey must be filled out and mailed to the Warsaw attorney representing the town in the proposed changes of the current wind law. It must be returned postmarked by Dec. 27.
Town Supervisor Robert Karcher said the board will use the survey, along with statements and exhibits from public hearings and letters from residents, to help determine what to include in the local wind law.
Alle-Catt Wind Farm, proposed by Invenergy, would include 108 wind turbines in the towns of Farmersville and Freedom in Cattaraugus County, Centerville and Rushford in Allegany County and Arcade in Wyoming County.
The town of Farmersville would receive $360,000 in payments in lieu of taxes (P.I.L.O.T.s) and community host fees. The county and local school districts would also share P.I.L.O.T.s.
Invenergy says the Alle-Catt Wind Farm would pump $7 million a year into the region from land leases, P.I.L.O.T.s, taxes and jobs.
The town’s proposed law sets the maximum height from the ground to the tip of a blade of 600 feet. Setbacks are:
• 1.5 times the tip height to the nearest site boundary property line.
• 1.5 times the tip height from public roads.
• 1,800 feet from the nearest off-site residence.
• 1.5 times the tip height from any structure visited daily (dairy barns) or above ground utilities.
• 2,200 feet from the property line of a school, church, hospital or nursing home.
The proposed wind law calls for a 50 dBA noise limit measured at the nearest residence located off site. There is an exemption of a 10 percent higher noise level for five minutes every hour.
The Town Board will be able to grant waivers if there is written consent from affected property owners for higher noise levels and shorter setbacks than required.
The proposed local law can be found on the town of Farmersville website at www.farmersvilleny.org.
Town Clerk Bridget Holmes said the surveys would be mailed to landowners from DiMatteo & Roach, attorneys of Warsaw. Partner David M. DiMatteo is representing the town board on the proposed wind law.
There are two questions on the survey, each with three possible answers.
The first asks if the proposed Wind Energy Facility Law setbacks and dBA (noise level) should be increased, decreased or remain the same.
The second question is more straightforward: “Are you opposed to the proposed windmill project?” Answers include yes, no and undecided.
Ginger Schroder, a town resident and attorney helping residents fight the Alle-Catt Wind Farm, believes some of the survey questions are hard to understand the way they are stated.
“The setbacks and dBA are inverse,” Schroder told the Times Herald of the survey. “If you are for increasing the setbacks you will be for decreasing the dBA.”
The second question is an easier yes or no – do you want the project or not?
Holmes said the surveys will be mailed to each landowner. If there are five people in a family, the residence gets one vote – providing they are the owner. Renters do not get a vote.
Schroder said one survey per taxpayer is by no means perfect, but it is something. Overwhelming opposition to the wind turbines at public meetings are one indication about how residents feel about the wind farm.
She thought the survey needed some explanation, “I think they are assuming that people know more about the project than they do.”
The supervisor said last week that with all the review the town board needed to do on the wind law and the survey, the board probably wouldn’t vote on it before its January meeting.
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