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Parishville approves wind law

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PARISHVILLE - The town now has a wind energy facilities law on its books.

The town board voted unanimously Tuesday morning to approve a local wind law. The law allows Parishville to create a “wind overlay zone,” a designated area where turbines could go.

Supervisor Jerry G. Moore said the zone may be along a stretch of farmland near the Parishville/Hopkinton border.

“I’m not zoning them to keep them out,” Mr. Moore said. “I’m zoning them so that they’re not all over town.”

Mr. Moore previously said Iberdrola Renewables Inc. was interested in siting 40 to 50 wind turbines between Parishville and Hopkinton. The company still has several months of data to obtain from a test tower before it provides a closer estimate how many turbines it may site in the two towns.

In the meantime, Mr. Moore said, the town will create the district and be prepared when Iberdrola is ready to move forward with its plans.

Mr. Moore said he believes Parishville will be unaffected if the state finalizes Article X and establishes a board to review local wind laws and determine if they’re too restrictive.

“I want to keep the state’s nose out of here. Let them go somewhere where they’re too restrictive,” Mr. Moore said. “I don’t think we’re too restrictive. I think it’s a good law.”

Mr. Moore pointed out previous public hearings on the wind law drew large crowds of wind energy opponents and supporters to Parishville. Tuesday’s hearing was sparsely attended.

“A lot of people aren’t coming now because they realize we’re putting together a comprehensive law,” Mr. Moore said.

Attorney Bernard C. Meleuski, who the town consulted on the law, advised board members to review their code of ethics as wind energy progresses in Parishville.

Currently, the ethics law states board members must recuse themselves from decisions which could financially benefit a “relative,” which includes extended family like aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and first cousins.

“Your code goes beyond what the state requires,” he said. “In a small community, it might create some complications down the road.”

Councilwoman Kari Tremper agreed. As the youngest of 10 children, she said she could be related to many in the town.

Mr. Moore said he was pleased the town now had a wind law.

“We had no wind law before. We had no way to permit them,” Mr. Moore said. “We have some say in where they’re going to be. That’s very important to me and has been right along.”

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