FARMERSVILLE – The Farmersville Town Board has approved a host community agreement with Alle Catt Wind Farm developer Invenergy.
Town Clerk Bridget Holmes said Tuesday a road-use agreement was also approved during a special meeting on Monday. She said she didn’t have the amount of the community host agreement. Other town officers did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.
One source said the host agreement was $700,000 a year over 25 years, nearly double what Invenergy had first offered town officials. The amount could not be confirmed.
Invenergy signed a letter of intent in August to provide $13.4 million in new revenue to the town over 20 years.
The host community agreement is in addition to the smaller payment in lieu of taxes the town, school districts and county would share if the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency grants tax breaks to the project.
Last month, the Farmersville Town Board voted 4-0 to adopt a new wind law to replace the one adopted in 2009. It allows wind turbines up to 600 feet tall from tip to ground, a setback of 1.1 times the height from property lines and 1,500 feet from a non-participating residence. There is also a 50 dBL sound level limit.
Opponents have complained that the new wind law is less protective of residents’ health than the first draft. The reason was the greater setbacks resulted in fewer turbines and a lower host fee.
Board member Richard Westfall has a wind lease and did not participate in last month’s wind law vote, although he participated in drafting the new law – including suggesting the noise level be increased to an average 50 dBL.
Supervisor Robert Karcher handed the gavel to Deputy Supervisor Richard Zink and left at the outset of the 15-minute meeting. Karcher did not participate in the vote on the host community agreement, even though he helped negotiate it, because his in-laws have a wind lease.
Highway Superintendent Barry Tingue said Tuesday he was satisfied with the road use agreement.
“They will have to restore the roads to their current condition,” while he added the developer may have to beef up some roads with some base to support heavy equipment, gravel and concrete trucks and, lastly, the turbine components.
Tingue said he will meet with the town’s engineering consultant and Invenergy engineers to see what portions of seven or eight town roads will need added cover.
“When it’s all over, they’ll bring everything back up to snuff again,” Tingue said. “Some of these roads have hardly any base.”
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