By Chris Hoffman, from Madison County Courier, June 28, 2012
At a Special Meeting of the Madison Town Council, with about 75 members of the public in attendance, Councilmen Bradley Dixon, James Lundrigan, and Gregory Reuter, and Town Supervisor Ron Bono voted unanimously to adopt a resolution enacting Local Law #2 of 2012, Town of Madison Moratorium on Wind Power Facilities Law. Councilmember Patricia Bikowsky had recused herself from voting earlier in the year and was not present at this meeting.
It was a hard-won vote for hundreds of residents who would have been affected by the installation of a 36-turbine industrial wind farm in the southern part of the Town of Madison along the northeastern border of the Village of Hamilton.
On December 16, 2011, applicant Rolling Upland Hills Wind Farm, a subsidiary of EDP Renewables, submitted an application to the Town of Madison for a special use permit pursuant to the Town’s “Windpower Facility Special Use Permit Regulations.” It wasn’t until February of 2012 that local residents learned about the project and immediately began to organize into what eventually became the grassroots citizens group Madison Matters.
First of all, thank you to all of the people who attended the meeting on Wednesday evening. Those who provided comments spoke eloquently and backed their statements with facts. Bravo! Remember that the public comment period will remain open until May 18.
Unlike the Oneida Dispatch and the Syracuse Post Standard, this report will attempt to give those who could not be there an accurate portrayal of events.
The hearing began at 7 pm. Paul Crovella, Planning Board member, ran the meeting. The proceedings were recorded. By the time the meeting started, over fifty people had signed up to speak. While the newspapers reported attendance of approximately 150, this is a gross underestimate. The auditorium seats 350 people. By the news reporters’ estimates, this means the auditorium would have been less than half occupied. In reality, most of the seats were taken. A more accurate estimate of attendance would be at least 300 people.
THANK YOU to all who attended — the crowd nearly filled the seats in the auditorium! Out of 40 local residents who spoke, 33 made comments challenging information provided in the DGEIS and/or voiced opposition to the installation of Rolling Upland Wind Farm as proposed. We’ll post more information soon.
The Planning Board will accept written comments on the DGEIS until 5:00 pm on May 18, 2012. Written comments will be given the same consideration as any oral comments made at the public hearing. Please submit written comments to:
Town of Madison Planning Board
P.O. Box 66
Madison, NY 13402
We suggest you send your comments by Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested.
By Chris Hoffman, from Madison County Courier, April 18, 2012
(Madison, NY – April 2012) At the regular meeting of the Madison Town Board on Thursday April 12 citizens concerned about the proposed wind farm once again packed the house. Many questions focused on the relationship between the Town Board and the Planning Board and the functions and responsibilities of each in reviewing the application to site a 36-turbine wind farm off Bonney Hill Road.
Jane Welsh submitted to Town Supervisor Ron Bono a four-page draft of a new Local Law that would impose a 12-month moratorium on applications and proceedings as well as the issuance of approvals or permits for the construction of Wind Power Facilities (other than Residential Wind Power Facilities) within the Town of Madison. Welsh requested that the Board review the proposed law along with the Town attorney and consider adopting it. Many citizens expressed approval of enacting a moratorium in order to allow time to revise the special use permit regulations for wind energy that the Town adopted in April 2011. At the Planning Board meeting on April 4, Chair Roger Williams agreed that the regulations as currently written are inadequate “and need to be revised.”
Yard signs are now available at Parry’s Hardware. Parry’s will accept donations for the signs (most people give $10).
Madison Matters was out in full force on Thursday evening to attend a regular meeting of the Madison Town Board. Supervisor Bono now has a draft moratorium law in his hands. We have asked him to give it serious consideration. The Town Board agreed to convene a special joint meeting of the Town and Planning Boards for the purpose of considering a moratorium. We expressed our desire and willingness to work with them and offered our expertise and research for their use. This is serious progress.
The Special Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday April 25. We will post more information on this as things become more definite. Please try to hold this date open.