Cohocton Wind Watch: Hold on wind project proposed
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Hold on wind project proposed

Hartsville, N.Y.

With little news from developers and fears of low returns on revenue, the Town of Hartsville might hold off on allowing anyone to build a wind farm until the details get ironed out.

The Hartsville town board voted 3-2 at Wednesday night’s meeting to consider a law placing a moratorium on wind turbine development.

Town Supervisor Steve Dombert proposed the idea following a discussion on revenue benefits for the town and how they would compare to other municipalities.

Under the current Payment in Lieu of Taxes formulas, the town would receive between $52,000 and $180,000, Dombert said.

“I’m really underwhelmed,” he said.

While the Town of Cohocton has received more than a million dollars in two years from a community host agreement, Dombert said recent court action by parties involved in the PILOT programs at other wind turbine locations may rule the community host agreement concept void.

He said he recently talked to representatives with E.ON, the company planning to build between 33 and 46 turbines in the town, “but I’m not feeling I’m getting a lot of encouragement on their end.”

The length of the moratorium would be between six months to a year, he said, adding it would give the town time to figure out its options and negotiate any necessary deals with the Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District.

Dombert added he feels the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, which has the task of negotiating PILOT agreements, is not looking out for the town’s best interest.

“They’re not negotiating anything at all,” he said.

In other business, the board:

l Agreed to terminate a contract to plow Steuben County roads in the town.

According to Dombert, the county Department of Public Works would have paid the town around $31,000 over the year for the contract. So far, he said, the town has received around $21,000 of the money and will need to return about $13,000.

While the town will lose the revenue, Dombert said, about $16,000 in costs for salt, sand and diesel fuel can come off the appropriations side of the budget, plus time spent plowing and repairs to the trucks.

l Approved the town to make paper complaint forms for residents to report code enforcement violations.

According to Dombert, Code Enforcement Officer Bill Ells asked him to implement the system to keep better track of complaints.

“That way, we’d have a sort of process,” Dombert said. “Bill would be on notice that a complaint has been filed.”

l Approved to set up for a rabies clinic Feb. 23 in the town highway shop. Further details on the time will be set at a later date.

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