Barre has survey for residents’ input on wind turbine project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 June 2018 at 5:36 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo shows some of the wind turbines in the Town of Sheldon in Wyoming County which are about 400 feet high from the top of the blade.

BARRE – The Town of Barre is seeking resident’s input on a proposed wind energy project from Apex Clean Energy.

The proposed Heritage Wind would have up to 47 utility-scale turbines. This project is currently being reviewed under “Article 10,” a review process led by the New York State Public Service Commission for large electricity generation facilities, Barre officials state on the survey.

“Unlike other projects, the Town Board has no authority to approve or disapprove the Heritage Wind project, because it falls under the Article 10 process,” the Town says on the survey. “That decision-making power lies solely with the Public Service Commission ‘Siting Board’ composed of State officials and appointed community members. The Article 10 process also coordinates the environmental impact analysis – leaving the Town with little direct control over the environmental review process, unlike the familiar procedure of State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR).”

Residents are asked to complete the survey by July 27. The survey can be picked up and dropped off at the Barre Town Hall, 14317 West Barre Rd. or completed online by clicking here.

Although Barre doesn’t have any official vote in the project, town officials can contribute to the Article 10 evaluation “by identifying unique or vulnerable environmental resources that require special attention in our community. The Town can also request additional information or improvements to the studies planned by the wind developer to address our most pressing concerns.”

A community forum will be held at the Town Hall at 6 p.m. on July 18.

Some of the questions on the survey include:

• What is your attitude towards the Heritage Wind project in Barre? – supportive, neutral, opposed or needs more information.

• Identify locally valuable resources that may be impacted while constructing or operating wind turbines. Please be specific by including location, name (if applicable) and reason(s).

• Which of the following concerns could be significant in the Town of Barre and require a careful evaluation of potential local impacts?

This question asks to rank the level of the importance – minimal concern, less important, top priority or no opinion/don’t know – for the following: noise from wind turbines, change in rural character, change in views from height of turbines, shadow flicker, loss of agricultural resources or farming inconvenience, negative impact on property value, roadway deterioration, setbacks from property lines and buildings, possibility of health effects due to living near turbines, public safety (due to fire, blade/ice throw, tower collapse, etc.), wildlife impacts (loss of bird and bats, etc.), impacts to TV, cell phone or radio reception, complaint procedure – how the developer will respond and resolve issues, decommissioning and the eventual removal of turbines, and other (please specify).

The last question asks the respondents to share any additional comments.

For more on the proposed project, click here to be directed to to the Heritage Wind website.

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