County planners to review turbines in Shelby, 25-bed women and children community residence in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2022 at 10:05 pm

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board will meet on Thursday, 28, to review proposals for two 650-foot-high turbines and Shelby and a 25-bed women and children community residence in Albion.

In Shelby, Borrego Solar System Inc. is proposing the two turbines  on South Gravel Road in an apple orchard owned by the Smith family. Town Supervisor Jeff Smith recently retired as an apple grower. His family’s property is proposed for the two turbines. He is recusing himself from any votes or official discussion about the project.

Borrego already has completed a big energy project in Orleans County. in 2019 it developed an 8.5 megawatt solar project in the Town of Ridgeway on Allis and Beals roads on land owned by Ken Baker.

The two turbines were presented as a “community wind project” by David Strong, senior project developer for Borrego. He said during a June 14 town meeting that the turbines could provide enough electricity for 2,000 homes. He said residents could be eligible for 10 percent off their electricity costs through the project.

The County Planning Board will review the request for a special use permit and site plan review for the 10 megawatt wind energy system.

In Albion, planners will review the site plan for a 25-bed women and children community residence at 3597 Butts Rd.

The Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is proposing the project.

“Ten of the units will have the capacity to house women with children,” John Bennett, GCASA executive director, said in March 2021. “It’s sorely needed as there aren’t that many programs around that offer services to women and their pre-school age children, which is a significant barrier for women to receive the intensive-type treatment they may need for addiction.”

He said then that there are only two programs west of Albany that assist women and children in this way.

“Our percentage of female population has gone up over the years. I think when we wrote the grant it had gone up over 12 percent in a three- or four-year period – up to the mid- or high-30s,” he said.

The Planning Board meeting with be at the County Office Building at 14016 Route 31 West.